ST. LOUIS – The chief clinical officer for BJC HealthCare, which represents the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said Monday it’s very likely that everyone who is not vaccinated will become infected with COVID-19 in the near future.
The number of COVID patients in intensive care units in the St. Louis region has tripled in one month.
Total hospitalizations of COVID patients and suspected COVID patients is now at 302 in St. Louis regional hospitals. That’s the first time the region has had more than 300 hospitalized since March 2, 2021. The number of COVID patients in ICUs in the region has jumped from 31 patients to 91 patients in the past month. There have been 21 covid deaths in the last seven days in the area.
Dr. Clay Dungagan says the spike in numbers is the result of the rapid spread of the delta variant of COVID on those individuals who choose not to get the vaccine.
“Before all is said and done, it’s likely that almost everyone in this country will either been infected with COVID or will have the vaccine,” he said. “Whether the Delta variant is the one that finishes that cycle is a bit of conjecture right now because there’s always the possibility that it will be replaced by an even more contagious variant. That said, I think we will see the (Delta variant) race through unvaccinated populations, particularly where there is a large percentage of citizens.”
Dunagan says about 97% of the hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated. He says the percentage of COVID patients who are vaccinated is in the single digits.
Dunagan stressed that getting the vaccine is a much better way to gain immunity than acquiring it naturally through infection.