According to hospital officials, the current spike in COVID hospitalizations is being driving by unvaccinated, young and healthy people. This trend appears to be different from what happened during the first two waves of the COVID pandemic.
“The virus has a new target: the unvaccinated and younger people,” said Mary C. Mayhew, President and CEO, Florida Hospital Association. “Previously healthy people from their teens to their 40s are now finding themselves in the hospital and on a ventilator. Regardless of your age, get vaccinated, if eligible! What you heard last year and last spring about this virus mostly targeting seniors and those with pre-existing conditions is not true today.”
In Tallahassee the message is the same, according to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s chief communications officer, Stephanie Derzypolski.
On Sunday, Derzypolski tweeted, “Today we have 70 COVID-19 patients at TMH. The overwhelming majority of them are unvaccinated which means these hospitalizations (and many eventual deaths) could’ve been prevented. This is no longer people with comorbitities in their 70s and 80s but otherwise healthy people in their 20s 30s and 40s.”
Derzypolski urged people to get vaccinated.
Will the increase in hospitalizations follow previous trends and result in more deaths in the coming weeks?
Some evidence indicates the answer to this question is no.
Reports indicate the surge in the Delta variant in the UK is not bringing the same death toll as past coronavirus waves.
Also, the New York Times reported in June that the medical conditions associated with recent deaths are similar to the conditions associated with deaths during the height of the pandemic. These conditions include diabetes and hypertensive diseases.
Based on these reports, if the current spike in hospitalizations is driven by younger and healthier people with no underlying conditions, the medical outcomes should be different from the first waves of the pandemic.