INDIANAPOLIS — Three Indiana medical associations are urging Hoosiers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations surge going into the winter months.
The Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana State Medical Association and Indiana State Nurses Association pleaded for people to get shots to relieve pressure on the health care system and ensure safe gatherings.
The associations said in a statement that hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have increased by 66% over the past three weeks and are approaching 75% of last November’s peak. As of Tuesday, 2,203 Indiana residents were hospitalized with COVID-19.
“In addition to the rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, in which the vast majority are unvaccinated, hospitals are caring for more critically ill patients than ever before,” the statement said. “Clinical data indicates that patients have more complex conditions than before the pandemic and have longer lengths of stay.”
If hospitalizations continue to rise, they said, everyone in need of health care could be impacted.
“We urge all Hoosiers who have not yet received a vaccine or who are eligible to get a booster to do so before winter arrives to ensure a hospital bed is available for all in need,” the statement said. “The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be safe and effective at reducing hospitalizations and death and the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness and protect your friends and family is to get vaccinated before gathering for the holidays.”
There have been 16,970 confirmed deaths and 1,101,185 positive cases since the pandemic began. An additional 587 probable COVID-19 deaths have also been reported.
A total of 7,727,869 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Indiana. The number includes 3,486,619 first doses and 3,435,625 individuals who have received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are fully vaccinated. Another 805,625 Indiana residents have received a booster dose.