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Area doctor warns pandemic could get worse without more vaccinations

While looking at the data in the local hospitals and watching the virus spread, doctors are say that if people don't get the shot, this surge will be much harder to get out of.
While looking at the data in the local hospitals and watching the virus spread, doctors are say that if people don't get the shot, this surge will be much harder to get out of.

Looking at the data and inside our hospitals, and seeing how COVID-19 is spreading, doctors say if people don’t get the shot, it’s going to be harder getting out of this surge.

Florida is leading the nation in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the more transmittable and infectious delta variant surging as well.

Dr. Mohammaed Reza says he fears it’s getting worse.

“So our hospitals weren’t as busy as they are,” Reza said. “Now they’ve surpassed that. So compared to January, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up. That’s the concerning part that we’re seeing.”

Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.

Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic operated over capacity Sunday with a “significant increase” in COVID patients.

UF Health in Jacksonville has 226 COVID-19 patients, 52 in the ICU, but are below capacity overall.

Ascension St. Vincents last week announced they are requiring their associates and clinicians to be vaccinated.

Federal health officials released data Saturday showing Florida reported 1,683 new COVID-19 cases, the highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Reza says those who aren’t vaccinated don’t need to wait.

“Getting vaccine now is really important if you’re not fully vaccinated, but those vaccines won’t provide you that protection for another five to six weeks, because you have to get that one shot,” he said. “And then the second shot three to four weeks afterwards. And two weeks after that second shot is when you get that protection, not right away.”

Reza gives a reminder that those who are vaccinated can carry the virus.

He says if you have the shot or not, you need to wear a mask to help slow the spread of the virus in your community.

“And masks do not mean shut down,” Reza said. “It’s the total opposite. We want our citizens to be healthy masks equal healthy citizens and a thriving economy. This is how we keep our economy open and our citizens healthy and safe.”


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A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.