Despite the fact that the vaccination rate is improving lately in almost every state across the country, the number of new Covid-19 cases is again on the rise since Thanksgiving. According to the experts that have been urging the vaccine hesitant to get the shot in the past couple weeks, it looks like we are at the beginning of new, winter Covid-19 wave.
There is increasing number of people who decide to get the vaccine for the first time, but there is also increasing number of fully vaccinated people who are going for the third, booster dose. Experts believe there are two major factors pushing the vaccination rate to increasing trend.
The first and probably the more important reason is the Omicron variant of the virus that was discovered earlier this month in Africa. As per the most recent data, Omicron seems to have more than 30 mutations meaning it can evade both natural and vaccination immunity much easier compared to all the other variants of the virus we know so far. The Omicron variant was already detected in two dozen states across the country.
The second reason for the improved vaccination rate lately is the holiday season. It’s expected that people will spend more time indoors during the holiday gatherings meaning increased risk of spreading the virus. Some people simply decide to get immunized before this period in an effort to create safer holiday environment for their friends and closest family relatives.
However, there is decent number of stubborn folks who are not getting the vaccine for all the wrong reasons. One of them is the 27-year-old Kyle who decided to remain unvaccinated and contracted Covid-19 in October. His condition worsened and he was admitted to a local hospital in New York few days after testing positive. He has been hospitalized ever since.
Kyle is awaiting his transfer to a Pennsylvania hospital that reportedly operates at about 120% capacity with nearly a quarter of patients in the COVID unit. Almost all the patients being treated at the hospital’s emergency room are unvaccinated, emergency room physician Dr. Reed said.
“The saddest thing is when they’re asking when they can get the vaccine and you’re just not sure if they’re going to make it to that point to be able to offer it to them,” said Reed.
According to Kyle’s family relatives, ‘he was perfectly healthy with no underlying conditions when he contracted COVID in October’. He’s been hospitalized ever since. If he had decided to get the vaccine on time, he would have surely been in much better shape, Kyle’s sister said.
“I think it would have helped him medically. I think it wouldn’t have been as bad, but I couldn’t say for sure if it would have prevented all this,” she said.
His sister said that ‘he spent his 27th birthday on life support and has even missed his wedding’. Kyle’s condition worsened to a point where his lungs are no longer functioning and he now needs double transplant. The process for the transplant operation was delayed because there are no beds available at the Pa. hospital.
He is never going to have the same life he had,” Kyle’s sister ended.