Daytona Beach, FL - 430 people have been hospitalized across Central Florida, which is an increase of over 100 since last week, as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.
“The good news is that we are not seeing infection in patients who are fully vaccinated in the hospital,” said Dr. Vincent Hsu, an epidemiologist and executive director of infection prevention, during a live media event on Thursday (July 15). The Delta strain, according to Hsu, mutated from the original COVID-19 virus and is now the dominant variant. The strain is also infecting vaccinated individuals as well, but Hsu said they are typically not sick enough to be admitted into a hospital.
With school starting in less than a month, medical professionals from AdventHealth said they "strongly recommend" parents get their children vaccinated, if they are 12-years of age or older.
Dr. Michael Keating, chief medical officer for AdventHealth for Children, stated that unlike the adult population, the number of children hospitalized with COVID has not seen any recent increases. Although, the risks of a potential COVID infection far outweigh any potential risks associated with the vaccine, said the doctor.
"It doesn’t make you bulletproof against the COVID virus, but what it does is it basically puts Kevlar on you so that you’re not going to feel the full impact of the virus," Dr. Keating said, referring to the vaccine.
According to the most recent report released by the Florida Department of Health—which was published on July 9—found that the state reported 23,697 more cases of COVID-19 between July 2 and July 8. The week prior (June 25 to July 1), the state reported 16,031 new cases, and 11,804 the week before that.
The positivity rate also jumped from 5.2 percent to 7.8 percent between June 25 and July 8.
"With variants there are risks that the vaccine won’t be as effective... but even with Delta it’s still shown to have a significant protective effect," Dr. Hsu said. "It’s not too late."
If you're looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to visit the Department of Health's vaccination site locator (click here).