Prisma Health doctors give update on hospital capacity, urges people to get vaccinated


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–On Thursday, Prisma Health gave an update on its health care system and how its holding up against the newest surge in COVID-19 cases. Prisma doctors say the current number of patients in the hospital with coronavirus is nearly on par with the surge from this time last year. They also say nearly all of those people are unvaccinated.

“304 positive COVID-19 patients within our healthcare system. Comparing that to July the 2nd when we had 12,” Dr. Steve Shelton with Prisma Health said.

That’s compared to 321 hospitalizations system wide at last year’s peak in July. Current patients have something in common.

“88.4% of those are unvaccinated individuals,” Shelton said.

Doctors say those who are vaccinated and in the hospital are typically older and with other chronic health issues. Those who are being effected by the virus now are between the ages of 20 and 59.

“More than half are not vaccinated, significantly more than half, so that’s where the virus is going to find its victims,” Dr. Helmut Albrecht with Prisma Health said.

Doctors are pleading with the public to get vaccinated and keep the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed.

“We need individuals to get vaccinated. It’s critical that you get vaccinated if you’re unvaccinated and urge your family and friends to get vaccinated,” Shelton said.

Doctors say there is no reason to be concerned about adverse effects of the vaccine.

“This is the best studied vaccine we’ve ever had. It’s one of the most effective vaccines,” Albrecht said.

And that those who are still unvaccinated need to think about those around them who can’t get the vaccine.

“They are looking for excuses because in their heart they don’t feel it yet, and we need people to get over that and feel it and get vaccinated,” Albrecht said.

Doctors say the EW is overwhelmed right now, and ask people who need to get tested to head to a DHEC location, pharmacy, or their physicians instead of coming to the hospital.

Doctors are also now urging women who are pregnant or plan to get pregnant to get vaccinated. They say the vaccine protections can be passed through the placenta and breast milk to help shield newborns from the virus.

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