July 22, 2021 – When the ball dropped in Times Square to mark the
start of 2021, many of us, especially health care providers, were finally
experiencing a sense of hopefulness that the devastating pandemic might
actually be near its end.
COVID-19 vaccinations had become a reality. But, while many eagerly waited in line for their
vaccinations, others adopted a ‘wait and see’ mindset, wary
of possible side effects and needing further assurance of the vaccines’ safety.
“The vaccines have, in fact, been proven to be safe and effective
by the FDA. Yet a staggering 72% of Camden County and 61% of Glynn County
remain unvaccinated,” says Michael D. Scherneck, president and CEO
of Southeast Georgia Health System. “And now, similar to the rest
of the nation, we are experiencing another surge in hospitalized COVID-19
patients, many of whom are much younger than we saw last year.”
On July 22, the Health System reported 37 confirmed coronavirus patients
at its two hospitals, 12 of whom were in the critical care unit.
“The vast majority of current hospitalizations are among patients
that have not been fully vaccinated,” states
Alan Brown, M.D., chief medical officer at Southeast Georgia Health System. “As
we see cases of COVID-19 continue to rise regionally, I implore everyone
to do all they can to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus in
our community. I recognize the vaccine is a personal decision, but we
still need more people vaccinated if we are to beat this pandemic.”
According to the CDC, a 70% vaccination rate is necessary to achieve herd immunity.
“We are far from reaching that percentage,” says Scherneck.
“We are very concerned about the increase of positive COVID-19 cases
and the number of hospitalized patients. The Delta variant is far more
contagious than the original virus. Even if you believe you are healthy
enough to withstand the illness, get the vaccine to protect your loved
ones and others, especially those who are unable to get the vaccine due
to age or health complications. The time to ‘wait and see’
Understanding the facts about COVID-19 is the first step towards deciphering
myths versus facts. To help increase awareness, Southeast Georgia Health
System will have an
“Ask a Doctor” booth at this year’s Community Health & Wellness Fair on Saturday,
July 24, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Brunswick High School. The booth will
be set up next to the COVID-19 vaccine booth, where anyone age 12 and
older can receive a free Pfizer vaccine. For everyone’s protection,
social distancing protocols will be implemented and face masks must be worn.
The Health Fair and COVID-19 vaccines are free. For more information, visit
sghs.org or call 1-855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447).