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No vaccinated person under 40 has died of COVID-19 in Mississippi

(Live 5 News)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’re under 40 and vaccinated, chances are you’re not going to die from COVID-19, says State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

“We’ve not had a single death in someone under the age of 40 in a vaccinated person,” he said at the Mississippi State Medical Association’s Friday meeting.

Byers said when you look at overall numbers, 98 percent of new coronavirus cases in Mississippi in the last month have been among unvaccinated individuals.

“Almost 90 percent of hospitalizations are in unvaccinated folks. 88 percent of deaths are in unvaccinated folks,” he said. “I think it’s clear and overwhelming evidence for the protection of the vaccine.”

Byers was joined by Dr. Steven Stogner, pulmonary clinical chair at Forrest General Hospital.

Stogner said that unlike during the initial outbreak last, ICUs are seeing a significant increase in younger patients as a result of the Delta variant.

“Speaking specifically of this surge by Delta, we’re not accustomed to seeing generally healthy people, young ages, at least from my own observation, even 20 years younger than what we are seeing last year,” he said. “We’ve had 23-year-olds; we’ve had 26-year-olds; we’ve had 28-year-olds, right on up the list. And that is unusual in a medical-surgical intensive care unit, other than (for) trauma.”

He said once COVID patients develop hypoxemia or low oxygen content in the blood, there is little medical staffers can do.

“Once the lungs can no longer get oxygen into the blood and then the other organs are affected... it’s strictly a support system you can give. And once you go on the ventilator, it’s a 70 percent mortality,” he said. “I don’t care what your age is.”

Said Stogner, “Some have referred to it as a nightmare. And it has been a nightmare.”

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