COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As millions of families gather for the holiday, doctors are raising concerns over another potential surge in COVID cases.
“We know in Ohio, is that, at least a third of Ohioans probably more are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Brian Taylor, medical director for hospitalists at Central Ohio Primary Care.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, over six million people, or 57% of the state’s population — have at least started the vaccination process. But doctors say those numbers need to be higher.
“Even though the vaccination rates are certainly much better than they were five months ago, six months ago, we seem to still not be at the level where we should be,” said Dr. Carlos Malvestutto, an infectious disease specialist at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
And medical experts say that could become a problem, particularly after the holidays, when the rate of COVID infections and breakthrough cases are expected to surge.
“That’s pretty much what we expect, usually it’s an incubation period of about four days or so it can be longer than that. But then when people will actually then start with symptoms, then they’ll get tested a few days after that, so usually within less than two weeks I would expect to see those numbers go up,” said Dr. Malvestutto.
They say the only silver lining, is that children as young as five can get vaccinated, and booster doses are readily available to the public. Because COVID is primarily affecting those who are unvaccinated.
“The vast majority of patients, and I’m thinking at least 70% maybe 80% of patients that are here in the hospital with COVID are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Taylor.