Questions and answers in Craig’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Part 2
This week: Is Delta beating the vaccine? Is treatment making prevention unnecessary? And is the hospital really doing all it can for patients?
The numbers are a little better this week in Moffat County, as the COVID-19 positivity rate declined from 49.35% to 28.57%.
But, according to Memorial Regional Health, which compiles local COVID-19 data, “the prevalence of the COVID Delta variant remains high.”
This week’s MRH update notes the Delta variant is having a more severe effect on young people, and stresses the need to understand the truth about the virus and the vaccines created to prevent it.
“Last week, officials at Memorial Regional Health were notified by the Moffat County Coroner that an individual in their 20s died of COVID,” the update reads. “This individual was not hospitalized. This is the youngest Moffat County resident to die from COVID-related complications. This brings the total number of deaths in Moffat County to 27.”
Moffat County vaccination rates remain low, per the update, as only 45% of those 18 and over have received at least one dose, the update says.
In our ongoing series, the Craig Press turns to experts to help address myths and truths about the virus and the vaccine.
Is the vaccine working against Delta?
The statement: The COVID-19 vaccines do not work (or don’t work as well) protecting against the Delta variant.
MRH: False. (see http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/work.html.)
Current national data suggests approved vaccines are protecting against the variant strains, including the Delta variant. Local (specific to Moffat County) data supports this claim. Moffat County Public Health released the following data specific to Moffat County:
In the past 31 days (prior to July 1), of the 141 positive COVID-19 cases, 22 cases (15.6%) were individuals who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Four cases received Johnson & Jonson
Ten cases received only one dose of Moderna
Six cases received two doses of Moderna
Two cases had two doses of Pfizer.
The average percent efficacy across Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson is 85%.
Isn’t treatment getting better? Why take a vaccine at all?
The statement: Treatment has improved so much for people who do get sick with COVID that it’s not necessary to get the vaccine.
While it is true that most people do recover from COVID-19, between 10 and 30% of people develop post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV2, or long-hauler syndrome.
Some of the symptoms associated with long-hauler syndrome include “fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain. Other issues include cognitive problems, difficulty concentrating, depression, muscle pain, headache, rapid heartbeat and intermittent fever.”
It is hard to predict who will develop long-hauler syndrome. Healthcare providers are yet to draw a clear link to people who have other comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Is the hospital doing everything it can to help COVID-19 patients?
The statement: The hospital (or other care facilities) is not using all available resources to help people who get sick with COVID-19.
Memorial Regional Health is using many of the approved treatments that fall within our capability. This includes: Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, dexamethasone, Actemra, Albuterol, Lovenox, and Vitamins C, D and zinc.
MRH does have the ability to care for patients on a ventilator, however when a patient reaches a level of severity, we transfer the patient to a higher level of care. Thankfully, every time we’ve needed to transfer a patient, we have been able to do so.
The Moffat County Health Department weighs in as well: Misinformation has widely spread making claims either for or against treatment and prevention options for COVID-19. Such claims are often not backed by sound evidence and can be dangerous.
We recommend seeking care from your trusted medical provider rather than relying on internet searches or shares.
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