DeKalb, IL — Young, unvaccinated people are testing positive for COVID-19 in alarming numbers, and in some cases being admitted to intensive care and being put on ventilators.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease physician at the University of Kansas Health System, said he has noticed hospitalizations rising among young, otherwise healthy people.
"We are seeing patients in their 20s and 30s who are otherwise healthy who are coming because of worsening symptoms ... today, in the hospital, in the ICU, who are needing to have ventilators and high oxygen support," he said, according to NBC News. "Again, because they're unvaccinated. It is completely preventable if you get vaccinated.
Vaccination rates among younger people are lower than among older Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Slightly fewer than half of people in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 are fully vaccinated. The number is even lower for children 12 to 18, who have been eligible to be vaccinated for months.
In a recent Twitter post, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s health officer, said a "vast majority" of the hospitalizations and deaths are among people who were not vaccinated.
"Please be safe and if you are 12 or older — please protect yourself," said Dobbs.