INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Younger generations without pre-existing conditions are making up 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations across the country.
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The group consists of people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. And the majority have not had the vaccine.
But while being young and leading a healthy lifestyle may prevent a person from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or certain cancers, the two are by no means protective shields against the coronavirus.
The virus, they say, doesn’t care about anyone. It cares about it’s own survival. And it will continue to survive and mutate into more infectious strains if vaccination rates remain at a standstill.
News 8 spoke with Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health. Yeleti has a message for those unvaccinated thinking because they are young and healthy they are immune from infection. But with the delta variant dominating, he says, no one is spared from severe infection, complications and death.
“The delta variant really is different from all of the other things we’ve seen in the past 18 months,” Yeleti said. “It’s so infectious that it infects anybody and everybody. The vast majority of our patients are younger and they don’t have any comorbidities or health issues. So, we’re seeing people we haven’t seen before and they are getting very very sick.”
When the virus infects a person who has not been vaccinated, their immune system goes into a state of chaos. Their body doesn’t recognize the infectious agent circulating. Cells that are designed to destroy COVID-19 end up doing the reverse–leading to inflammation and organ failure. However, when a person is vaccinated, the body recognizes the foreign agent immediately and knows exactly how to defeat the infection.
Yeleti goes on to say this is clearly a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Everyone he’s seeing who are on ventilators or where the prognosis looks poor are almost always the ones who have not had the vaccine.