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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

The Tents are Back outside the ER :(

I'm sure you all are feeling a little bit disappointed and frustrated by the surge in cases of COVID-19. It seems like the Delta variant has really set us back quite a bit. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this time. The good news is that the vaccines are quite effective 80-85% against catching it and those that are getting breakthrough infections are not (for the most part) getting hospitalized. (see Hoag's President update below) 95 % of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. Remember, every time someone gets the virus it replicates millions of times and each time is an opportunity for the virus to mutate and create an even more contagious and deadly form. Our best chance at ending this pandemic is for people to get vaccinated. Recently there have been some studies suggesting natural immunity ( when you catch the actual virus) is not as protective as getting the vaccine. So even if you had COVID, you should get the vaccine after symptoms are gone and 10-14 day isolation period is over. We are definitely seeing more kids being infected, and with schools about to open, there will likely be more transmission although data does not suggest schools spread COVID if they are taking masking and social distancing precautions.

I have a couple articles to share, but first the CDC has come out with a strong recommendation that all pregnant women should get vaccinated regardless of gestational age. I think it is interesting that only some news organizations chose to run this article. The CDC echos what all major obstetrical organizations have been saying for months now, there is no risk of increased miscarriage or complications with the vaccine. However, now, even more than last year we are seeing pregnant women become very sick with COVID-19 and often needing to deliver premature babies or requiring ICU care.

Also, this is an interesting article by an obstetrician in New York. It discusses the struggle health care providers are facing as we spend more and more of our time discussing COVID vaccinations and trying to combat a lot of misinformation from different forms of media. I try to remind everyone that science is the reason a lot of disease processes have been cured, controlled or eradicated and life expectancy has continually gone up. Why abandon science and evidence-based medicine now?

Starting today, Hoag Hospital (in compliance with State mandate) is now requiring that all visitors to the hospital be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours. Although they are still working out how to enforce this I imagine they will be pretty strict in the next few days to weeks because the number of COVID-19 admissions has gone up so much. There have been 5 pregnant women in the last few weeks who delivered early because of COVID at Hoag. This is a drastic difference from last year.

Here is a message from the President and CEO:

GO GET VACCINATED. Don't delay. Read my next post about one of our patients who was very ill with COVID.

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