Hospitalizations rise among fully vaccinated people, health officials push booster shots

Local News

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising among those who are fully vaccinated and health officials are urging booster shots as the holidays near. 

“We’ve seen probably a 15% increase in people in the hospital across the nation, across the state, and certainly across our county,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority.

Additionally, Dr. Melendez explained that the rise in hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people is related to their immunization weakening. 

“We’re seeing that some of the vaccinated folks especially those greater than 6 to 7 months ago are being victimized, we do believe that as time goes on especially without a booster people who are unvaccinated will continue to increase those numbers,” he said.

ValleyCentral spoke to Dr. Bechara Choucair the White House Vaccination Coordinator who tells us booster shots are the key to keeping hospitalizations low. 

“If your second shot was 6 months or more and if you are 65 and older or you have an underlying medical condition or you work at a place that increases your chance of getting COVID,” said Choucair.

Dr. Choucair added that while strides are being made in getting people vaccinated, there is still a lot of hesitancy.

“They’re getting a lot of misinformation they read a lot of false data false information and social media of from their friends and neighbors,” he said.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Melendez explained that while majority of hospitalizations remain among the unvaccinated he is still optimistic about an end to the pandemic. 

“Am I feeling comfortable that at some point soon from a pandemic to just another disease, yes. As time goes by and we get new variants then the manufacturers will adapt to that variant,” he said.  

Right now, they are urging everyone to get their booster shot if they are eligible in order to also prevent another COVID wave.

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