New COVID-19 infections are on the rise in northeastern Tennessee and are on the verge of another surge. This is due to the epidemic of potentially deadly and highly infectious variants in the region.
However, with the widespread availability of the vaccine to all adults in the region, health professionals want to avoid the surge.
“We clearly believe that (vaccines) are very important for building herd immunity and reducing the impact of the virus on the community. This is even more important today than in the fall or winter. “The doctor in charge of Ballad Health said. Executive Dr. Clay Runnels cites the epidemic of variants in the region and “potential implications for a pandemic or repetitive surge in case numbers.”
“We feel that it is just as important and now even more important to keep encouraging people who can be vaccinated to get the vaccine,” he continued.
In northeastern Tennessee, the average 7-day new case has increased by 73.3% and active cases have surged by more than 56% since March 8, when new case rates in the region fell to their lowest levels in a few months. doing. Last week, Northeastern Community Health officials said there was at least one confirmed B.1.1.7 variant in the region, while the Sullivan County Community Health Department confirmed a “large number” of suspicious test samples. I confirmed.
The B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the British variant, is more contagious and is more contagious. Survey Released earlier this month, it does not significantly affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“My concern is that if there are not enough people to be vaccinated, there are reservoirs for people at risk of continuing to spread the virus, and the virus will not remain the same,” said David Morin of Holston Medical. The doctor says. Pfizer in the region-Head of research for the group that led the BioNTech vaccine trial. “Because these viruses can mutate and become more deadly, individuals who are currently vaccinated are the hosts of the virus that other unvaccinated individuals mutate and become more virulent. It may work and may put you at risk. “
Making vaccinations available to all adults is “great news” and “we are making progress (but) still have a long way to go,” Morin said. Morin also said the emergence of variants in the region underscores the importance of being vaccinated, with large numbers of unvaccinated people being another more deadly or more contagious. It was pointed out again that there is a possibility of breeding a certain subspecies of.
“It’s nothing in itself. It’s only when used properly, that is, when individuals take them,” Morin said. “We can take advantage of that important part and make it an effective drug to prevent further COVID infections, cover this (pandemic) and put it behind us. I want to be able to do it. “
As of Friday, the northeastern county of Tennessee maintained the highest population rate in the state with at least one vaccination, and Hancock County (19.45%) had at least 20% of the population vaccinated once. It is the only county in the area that does not. .. Ballad’s Chief Infection Prevention Officer, Jamie Swift, said he was proud of the high vaccine intake in the region, and Ballad and Tennessee are the main reasons why the region is so heavily ingested. He noted partnerships with the community health sector in northeastern and southwestern Virginia. I don’t think we can overlook the importance of that unified front, “Swift said.
At a press conference earlier this week, Dr. Lisa Piercy, director of health at Tennessee, said the state confirmed low vaccine intake in rural counties. This was the driving force for adults to qualify for the vaccine. Swift said he recognizes that vaccine hesitation can be a problem in the region, but is working hard to keep progress in the region.
“I think our region is a bit against the odds when it comes to data, but we hope that as more vaccines are put into the arms of those who want it, more people will have some questions. I’m really a little hesitant and you might want to talk about it, “Swift said. “That’s also our goal. It’s about understanding what these barriers are and making sure we’re trying to remove them.”
Runnels helps people understand that vaccination significantly reduces the chances of symptomatological COVID-19 infection and “substantially” eliminates the risk of severe illness and death. Said it was important. Runnels said it is very important to keep people away from the hospital as the influx of COVID-19 patients limits the hospital’s ability to provide other services such as elective surgery.
“(Vaccination) benefits both sides from the patient’s point of view and greatly reduces the risk of serious illness and death. Maintaining normal medical system operation and quality to the community We can continue to provide high levels of care, “says Runnels.
If qualified, it’s time to look for a vaccine, Swift said.
“It’s really almost every vaccine dose in the arm,” Swift said. “It’s an absolute time to actually get this vaccine from an infection prevention perspective, as hospitalizations increase, new cases increase daily, and positive rates increase. Push it when they need it most and I Bring it to our community. “