INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After two months of decline, COVID-19 cases are surging once again and putting health officials on high alert because an unlikely group is succumbing to the virus.
The growing number of COVID deaths has health authorities concerned because an increased proportion of these deaths are from people already vaccinated against the virus.
News 8 spoke with Dr. Paul Driscoll, executive medical director at Franciscan Health, who explains why this is happening.
“The largest number of deaths still occurs in elderly … patients over the age of 65, and they tend to have other ongoing health problems or chronic medical conditions that increase their risk,” he said. “We’ve also seen that even though the rate of vaccination is very high in older patients — about 90% have been fully vaccinated … only about two-thirds have received a booster dose.”
Driscoll says the evidence is clear. Immunity wanes over time. Booster shots are necessary to maintain protection. Federal data shows the staggering increase of vaccinated people dying from COVID.
In September 2021, just 1.1% of COVID deaths were people who were fully vaccinated. In February, 25% of COVID deaths were patients who were fully vaccinated. Currently, that number is over 40%.
Driscoll goes on to say the omicron surge is largely responsible for the rising deaths in people who have received the vaccine. He recommends if you qualify for the booster to get it, and get it now.