St. Joseph County reaches 50% fully vaccinated milestone

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The number of new COVID cases is starting to plateau in Indiana, but the number of people in the hospital with COVID is still the highest it’s been since early January.

St. Joseph County was the first county in Indiana, this past week, to reach 50-percent of its total population within county borders to be fully vaccinated. That’s among both people eligible and not eligible to get a shot.

Kids under 12 in the United States are still not able to get a COVID shot as the FDA is still working on emergency use authorization for kids getting either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson shots. But, Dr. Ram Yeleti with Community Health Network tells WISH-TV that getting kids vaccinated should not be the top priority right now.

“Vaccinating children is not going to stop the pandemic,” Yeleti said. “It may prevent other people from being hospitalized, but it’s not going to end the pandemic at all. It will have zero impact. The only way to stop the pandemic is to vaccinate adults. Right now in my hospital, I have 200 hospitalized. They are all adults.”

Yeleti said children have a greater ability to fight off infection from COVID through natural molecules in their immune system that they eventually grow out of as they reach adulthood. That is why he says adults need to get vaccinated.

Throughout Indiana, there are only 18-percent of ICU beds available in hospitals. 33-percent of all ICU beds in Indiana hospitals are being taken up by people who have COVID.

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