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Deaconess reports increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, breakthrough cases partly to blame

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 8:10 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Deaconess officials are reporting an increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19 over the last two weeks.

Deaconess President Dr. James Porter says it could be due to a handful of “breakthrough cases,” which is when a fully vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19.

Porter and his team haven’t found anything out of the ordinary when it comes to breakthrough cases in the area.

He says it’s all going exactly how the research said it would.

The vaccine is known to be 90% effective against the original strain, and health officials say it’s around 80% effective against the variants.

Dr. Porter says people don’t have to take local health leaders’ word for it. He tells 14 News there’s a reason the nation’s top medical professionals now require their employees to get vaccinated.

”These are really smart people who really want to do the right thing for people, who are saying they have so much confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines that they think people across America that work in healthcare should have the vaccine,” Dr. Porter said. “It’s not just coming from Evansville, it’s not just coming from Deaconess. These are national experts closely analyzing the information and saying the vaccines are very much the right thing to do.”

Porter says looking too deeply into individualized cases in terms of science and healthcare, can be damaging.

“The important thing to keep in mind is, as we’ve said, those breakthrough cases are going to happen,” Dr. Porter said. “It doesn’t mean the vaccine is any less effective than we’ve been saying it was going to be. That is, even though it’s not perfect, still in the upper eighties effective against the Delta variant is still highly effective vaccines.”

Out of the 157 million people who are fully vaccinated, Dr. Porter says only 0.5% have ever been hospitalized or died.

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