ROCHESTER, Minn. - Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients have risen almost 500% over the past two months in the U.S. That's according to doctors at Mayo Clinic.
There are more than 101,000 Americans currently in hospitals across the nation with COVID-19. We're seeing more than 160,000 new cases every day. And nearly 1,000 deaths are reported daily. Doctors fear it's only going to get worse.
Right now, about 53% of the entire U.S. population is fully vaccinated. So, we still have a long way to go until we reach herd immunity. Dr. Gregory Poland with Mayo Clinic said the pandemic could go on until the coronavirus settles down into a more seasonal infection, similar to the flu. Or, until more people get vaccinated.
Dr. Poland suspects we're going to be, "plagued" with this. He said the U.S. could see another 100,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in the next three months.
It's almost impossible to predict how many more variants will pop up, especially if people remain unvaccinated. Reports show a sharp increase in hospitalizations particularly among 18 to 30-year-olds.
Dr. Poland explained he wishes those who refuse to get the vaccine could see what people hospitalized with the virus go through in the ICU. "What it's like to have a plastic tube down your throat and IVsin you with no privacy," he said. "What it's like to be in the hospital with oxygen and feel miserable. You feel like you're going to die. Somehow, we've got to reach people and if that means reaching them emotionally by seeing pictures of reality when somebody is infected, I'm for it."
Moderna has submitted its vaccine to the FDA for full approval. Dr. Poland anticipates we'll see that happen in the coming weeks.