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Haven't gotten your COVID vaccine? Read this.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia has been rising continuously. Health care administrators from all over the state hosted a joint press conference in August 2021 warning people about the pervasive threat of the Delta variant and the best course of action to take.

“The reality is, we expect this latest COVID-19 surge, driven by the highly infectious Delta variant, to significantly outpace the previous highest peak of COVID-19 infections,” says Andy Jaffal, M.D., the chief medical officer at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

How the Delta variant affects children

Not only that, but children, especially those under the age of 12 who have been unable to be vaccinated, are the ones most at risk.

“Increasingly, we are now seeing younger patients in our hospitals,” says Dr. Jaffal. “Those patients are getting sicker, much sooner, [and] they are on a ventilator much quicker.”

With the school year underway, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are expected to rise.

Unvaccinated patients hospitalized for COVID-19

Children aren’t the only patients flooding local hospitals. Among hospitalizations for COVID-19, 96% of patients are unvaccinated. That number rises to 97% in the intensive care unit. Yet, there are still people with other illnesses, traumas and surgeries who need hospitalization. Dr. Jaffal points out that “the massive influx of COVID patients is straining Georgia health systems’ resources, including nurses, beds and ventilators.”

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe

Many people have voiced concerns about the safety of the vaccines being offered. For example, they fear that the vaccine can’t possibly be safe because it was offered relatively quickly after the novel coronavirus spread throughout the country. Here are three facts about the vaccine that should ease their minds.

  • Those who developed the COVID-19 vaccines did not cut corners on testing. The processes used have been tested over many years and were specifically designed so that targeted vaccines could be created and disseminated quickly in case of an infectious disease pandemic.  

  • Because COVID-19 affects everyone, scientists made sure clinical trial participants for the vaccines represented our diverse population.

  • People with allergies can still get the COVID-19 vaccine. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past should discuss that with their doctor. Anyone who is severely allergic to any of the coronavirus vaccines’ ingredients should not be vaccinated.

“Vaccines are the very best way you can protect yourself, your loved ones and your family,” says Dr. Jaffal. “And as dire as this situation seems to be, there are steps we can all take to protect our communities and make a difference. We need your help. If you are eligible to get the vaccine, please do the right thing: please get vaccinated.”

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

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