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COVID Risk Remains Highest Among Unvaccinated Older Adults

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Watch

Pediatric hospitalizations due to COVID haven't increased dramatically when compared to other points in the pandemic. 


Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of the public health information sharing network MyHealth Access Network that compiles data from the Tulsa Health Department and other organizations, says there have been some exceptional days but we aren’t seeing previous levels now.


“Certainly some big days, some occasional big days, not as high as we’ve been in previous times around December and so on in terms of absolute count,” said Kendrick.


With the more transmissible Delta variant in play and school soon to start, the situation could change quickly. Right now, those at the biggest risk from Delta are people over 65 who haven’t been vaccinated. 


Testing is still low, but about 45% of people in the 65+ age group who test positive are going to the hospital. The idea that students could spread virus to these more vulnerable people is a concern.


“I’ve heard as kids as young as three on ventilators at this point, which is very concerning, but I don’t know the co-morbidities around that. Could have been somebody with a long pre-existing condition list. But from a population perspective, it’s absolutely the case that because we can’t get immunized below 12, kids become one of the vectors that can transmit this virus…and they live with adults.”


Kendrick said the risk is highest among the unvaccinated. 


According to the most recent data from the state department of health, 47.3% of Oklahomans have received one dose of vaccine.