Critical care specialist at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa., Dr. Rachel Sackrowitz, talked about the concerning number of young and healthy people infected with COVID-19, during a news briefing yesterday, September 8, 2021.
As it turns out, according to UPMC doctors, the average age for people hospitalized after testing positive for the virus has decreased by almost 10 years!
Dr. Sackrowitz shared that “We are currently seeing a truly alarming number of healthy young people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s admitted at UPMC, becoming critically ill and needing ICU care.”
She went on to also state that in the last few weeks, UPMC has admitted around twenty times more unvaccinated patients under 50 years old, as opposed to patients of similar ages that were vaccinated.
She mentioned the harsh reality that those admitted are “people who have very few other health issues and who would otherwise be looking forward to many years ahead.”
The latest data shows that the UPMC, which includes much of Pennsylvania as well as a few hospitals in Maryland and New York, was treating around 400 serious cases of COVID-19.
Sackrowitz stressed, during the news briefing, that an “overwhelming majority” of those hospitalized patients have not been vaccinated.
This situation is not singular as there is more data proving how crucial vaccination is in order to prevent testing positive for COVID-19.
For instance, not too long ago, two other central Pennsylvania health systems also reported that the majority of their cases were unvaccinated.
WellSpan Health from New York stated that 117 out of 127 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of the end of last month were not vaccinated.
Furthermore, out of the 23 in intensive care, only one was vaccinated, and out of 16 patients on breathing ventilators, all but one were unvaccinated.
Another medical specialist from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center named Dr. Fahad Khalid shared that, as of last week, 43 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized there, half of them needing intensive care and “Most everyone we see in the ICU at this point is unvaccinated.”
Finally, even children’s hospitals have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization, and the lack of vaccination parallels still stand.
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is one of them, but the chief of pediatric infectious diseases there, Dr. John Williams, stressed that “it’s nowhere near as bad” as in other parts of the United States at this point.
He went on to mention that, in those states with low vaccination rates, hospitalization of young children with COVID-19 is four times higher than in states with better vaccination rates, such as Pennsylvania.
Another detail he shared is that among children of ages 12 and higher, who are eligible for vaccination, the hospitalization rate is 10 times higher in the case of those unvaccinated.
Williams mentioned that his own teenage child got the vaccine as soon as it became available for kids even though they’d tested positive for the virus before and had, therefore, built a bit of immunity to it.
With that being said, he did not hesitate to encourage parents to get their eligible children (ages 12 and up) vaccinated as soon as possible, as well as follow all the protection measures, including wearing masks in schools.
In the cases of younger kids who are not yet approved for vaccination, Williams urged all the adults in the family to get the vaccine as to protect the young ones from contagion through them.
“I would plead with you all, as a pediatrician and as a parent, let’s all do our part to keep our communities safe, especially our children, during the pandemic,” the doctor stated.