UAB medical experts discuss the Delta variant’s impact on rising hospitalizations

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB is working to put out updated information about the Delta variant’s impact on Alabama hospitals.

Health professionals are urging people to take action when it comes to getting vaccinated and wearing a mask to help alleviate the pressure on frontline workers.

UAB is currently caring for 181 COVID-19 hospitalizations. 22 of those cases are vaccinated and 159 are unvaccinated.

“I think I can speak for every health care worker who is in the trenches we are exhausted,” said Dr. Michael Saag with UAB.

UAB health care leaders are continuing to echo the importance of getting vaccinated and masking up in an effort to help prevent rising hospitalizations.

“They work even better against you getting sick really sick and getting hospitalized and dying,” said Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo with UAB.

“Masks work. So, we should have in my opinion, we should have a statewide mask mandate for any indoor activity including school,” said Dr. Saag.

For those who are unvaccinated and just received a positive covid test monoclonal antibody treatment has been a bright light.

“It reduces hospitalizations by 70-80%. So, a lot of hospitals have bought into this because it decreases the pressure on them by reducing hospitalizations,” said Dr. Saag.

Although health care leaders do not believe this is going to be a long-term solution especially when cases are on the rise.

“The challenge is that it requires a clinic it requires infusion setups it requires nurses at a minimum and actually often doctors to make sure they are going okay and that these patients that tend to be sick are not having problems,” said Dr. Marrazzo.

Instead, health care leaders are pushing for covid booster shots to help fight new variants.

“We are going to continue to see mutations in this virus it’s a restless virus it really wants to change and get better at infecting us and so the fact that we got delta means that we are going to get beyond delta,” said Dr. Marrazzo.

Medical professionals announcing Wednesday booster shots are expected to be offered by September 20th pending FDA approval.

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