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CRMC Seeing Cases Rise As Delta Variant Spreads Among Unvaccinated

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Seeing Cases Rise As Delta Variant Spreads Among Unvaccinated

As the Delta Variant continues to spread, Cookeville Regional Medical Center is seeing its number of hospitalized patients grow.

Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Mark Pierce said that he has seen one to two hospitalized patients turn into 13 in the span of a week. Pierce said 97 percent of those hospitalizations are unvaccinated. Pierce said that now a stronger and more contagious virus is spreading while vaccination rates are below 50 percent in Putnam County.

“If you’re young and healthy you could easily have an illness and you’re not even aware that you have it or it could be early and you don’t know that you’re transmitting it,” Pierce said. “You go see somebody that you care about who is older and you could give that to them and they could have a bad outcome. Even a young person, I’ve seen several young people get really, really sick with it and end up hospitalized or miss work for a week and I guarantee that having a sore arm for a few hours is way better than going through that. I totally understand a young, healthy person saying, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ and in some respects I think it’s selfish or it’s not thoughtful concerning the other people around them.”

Pierce said that what is occurring, is clearly a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Pierce said there is no credible information that supports staying unvaccinated, saying the honest truth is things would be back to normal if people would simply get vaccinated.

Pierce said that when it comes to people questioning effectiveness, no vaccine is 100 percent effective. However, he said the COVID vaccine is much more effective than a flu shot, which has roughly a 60 percent effective rate.

“Often it’s very mild or even a completely asymptomatic infection,” Pierce said. “Honestly, the vast majority of people still don’t get infected even with the Delta Variant if they’ve been vaccinated. There’s only a small number that actually get infected.”

He said with the Delta Variant spreading among the unvaccinated, it makes people who are vaccinated or previously infected more likely to get the variant because of its mutations.

“It has a couple of different mutations in its spike protein and one of those has been associated with viruses with that particular mutation that seem to produce more virus in someone,” Pierce said. “So in some animal studies and some in vitro studies, they measure the amount of virus an infected person produces and it seems to produce more virus. So that means that person excretes more virus, so they’re more infectious to people around them.”

Pierce said some of these certain mutations are unable to be controlled by previous antibodies. He said even someone who has the antibodies from COVID-19, gets an extra layer of protection from COVID by getting vaccinated.


The post CRMC Seeing Cases Rise As Delta Variant Spreads Among Unvaccinated appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.