Baystate Health seeing increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations | Connecticut News


SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Total COVID-19 hospitalizations are up over 100 at area Baystate Health hospitals as the push is on for more people to get their booster shots. On Wednesday, Pfizer came out with good news about effectiveness against the omicron variant.

We spoke with some local residents still unsure about getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots and a doctor from Baystate Health where the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is at a higher level than we’ve seen in months.

“I’m not sure. I know that I have to do more research on that, but I am familiar with Pfizer because I have been vaccinated with Pfizer,” said Angelique Lopuk.

Lopuk is still thinking about whether to get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. On Wednesday, Pfizer announced their third dose is showing effectiveness against the new strain of the coronavirus, the omicron variant. Western Mass News is getting answers. We brought Angelique’s concerns to Baystate Health infectious disease doctor Jacob Smith.

“Talking about how the vaccine has been very well studied and 100s of millions of people have gotten it. The vaccine is very safe. It’s very effective at preventing hospitalization and death,” Smith said.

Others, however, said no, they didn’t get the vaccine and they don’t plan on getting it.

“No, I haven’t my immunity is better than any shot I can take,” said Robert McMahon of Springfield.

We asked Smith if he think the Pfizer booster protects you against the omicron variant.

“Based on my preliminary understanding of this omicron variant, it seems to have arisen on its own rather than out of, for example, theta or delta variant, so who knows what will happen next,” Smith explained.

What we do know is there has been an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations at Baystate Health facilities. Last Wednesday, there were 72 patients in their hospitals. This past Monday, there were 92 hospitalizations. On Tuesday, there were 96 hospitalizations and as of Wednesday, there were 109 hospitalizations.

Back on July 1, only 11 people were hospitalized. A year ago, there were 123 hospitalizations.

Smith says the best way to prevent ending up in the hospital is to get the vaccine.

“It’s very likely we’ll either get vaccinated or will get COVID and if I had a choice between getting the vaccine or getting the actual infection, I would choose getting the vaccine,” Smith added.

The latest data from Springfield health officials indicate that there were 818 cases in the last week, compared to 377 cases the week prior.

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