(WHTM) — Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease specialist with UPMC, says his impression is people who were enthusiastic about getting the vaccine and booster have already received them. Those who have not are playing a game of what he describes as Russian roulette.
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“When you look at it there’s a certain amount of the population that is just never going to get the vaccine and have to get sick,” Dr. Goldman said. He adds that that “certain population” is not the same as it was in 2020.
Goldman says communication to older populations better emphasized the urgency of getting vaccinated.
“Ironically…vaccination deaths among 60-, 70-, 80-year-olds are severely less common. It is the young people who aren’t vaccinated,” Dr. Goldman said.
UPMC’s hospitals have 262 unvaccinated patients, many ranging from 20 to 50.
Sydney Lemmon, 20, says she is not vaccinated and adds that she has not seen enough information to know it is OK. Lemmon tested positive for COVID-19 before and said having it was awful, but she still will not get vaccinated.
The trends of high case counts and hospitalization rates nationwide are mirrored in the Midstate, so for the government and health care workers, time is not an ally.
“I think omicron made the case for boosters stronger, you’re clearly better protected against omicron if you’ve had a booster,” Goldman said.
Goldman says if you are looking to get a booster but just had COVID-19, he and other physicians recommend you wait 90 days to give yourself long immunity and prevent the possibility of worsened side effects.