As a result of very modest vaccination rates and lifted restrictions, COVID infection rates and hospitalizations are rising. We understand that the restrictions were lifted for good reason and we too welcomed those changes. What was not expected were the modest numbers of our friends and neighbors who would be vaccinated. We know that the vaccines work and we continue to offer them to our caregivers and our community. Yesterday alone at Coffee Regional Medical Center we gave 104 vaccines and we have administered a total of 8,500 vaccines since they became available last December. These numbers are for CRMC only and do not include our community partners and the Coffee County Health Department. We are proud to share that our physicians believe in and support the COVID-19 vaccines: 95% of our medical staff members at CRMC have been vaccinated!
Despite our collective efforts only 28% of our community members have been vaccinated. Citing low vaccination rates and high numbers of hospitalizations, yesterday the CDC recommended masks and social distancing once again be implemented especially when indoors in groups with high numbers of unvaccinated persons.
In response to concerns that CRMC is treating a high number of vaccinated individuals for COVID-19 in our facility, please let us share the facts: 91% of our hospitalized COVID-19 patients have NOT been vaccinated. We have seen a very small percentage of vaccinated patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, the majority of these patients have mild symptoms and have fully recovered. We have seen firsthand: the COVID vaccines are safe and effective in providing protection against hospitalization and death. The vaccines are also effective in protecting against the variants.
The modest number of vaccinated persons in our community and nationally (57% of Americans 12 and older have been fully vaccinated) is the reason the corona virus variants are continuing to evolve. The variants are more easily spread among those not vaccinated and will continue to evolve and spread until a high percentage of our community and Americans in total are vaccinated.
If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, as your healthcare provider we encourage you to reconsider your decision. The current outbreak is proof that the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading easier and faster. There is now enormous experience with the vaccines: almost 300 million doses have been administered in the US and millions more worldwide with an impeccable safety record. Now is the time to be vaccinated. If you choose not to receive the vaccine you are putting yourself and others at risk of becoming very ill. No appointment is necessary, simply come to our indoor clinic located in the Coffee Regional Medical Center cafeteria Tuesday or Wednesday during clinic hours. We are proud to offer extended hours to accommodate working individuals.
Clinic hours are as follows:
Tuesday - Pfizer only - 6:30 am to 11:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Wednesday - Moderna only - 6:30 am to 11:00 am
We understand this evolving information can be confusing and we ask that our community continue to look to us for the facts and the most reliable updates and information concerning the current COVID-19 situation please visit us at: www.coffeeregional.org/coronavirus and please stay well.