Who could have ever imagined that our world would witness such a global pandemic as we have had with this deadly Covid-19 virus. Over 630,000 Americans, including over 60,000 Texans and counting, have been directly killed by Covid-19 pneumonia. Most of the 630,000 American deaths occurred before the Covid vaccine was available. Most of these deaths were from the Alpha variant. Thousands more have died from clotting disorders associated with Covid infections. Heart attacks, brain strokes, and blood clots to the lungs are common with this illness. Many complications occur weeks after a minor Covid illness has subsided.
Last year the Alpha variant of Covid was prevalent. This Alpha version did not infect children and young adults as often, or as violently, as it is now doing with the Delta variant, which accounts for almost 100% of Covid cases now seen. The young undoubtedly had some immunity to the Alpha variant, but that is no longer the case with the Delta variant. Hospitals are now full of children and young adults, which was rare in the early phases of Covid.
The Delta variant is seven times more contagious than last year’s Alpha variant.
It stands to reason that having some immunity to Covid is better than none. We now know that if you have some immunity, you can still contract or catch the new Delta variant. If you have some immunity, you probably will not need to be hospitalized if you catch the Delta variant. People who had the Covid Alpha variant last year have some immunity. People who have had a Covid vaccine over eight months ago have some immunity to the Delta variant. People who have had Covid already and then have had a vaccine have super immunities to the Delta variant. People who have had a recent vaccine have great immunity to the Delta variant. People who have had the vaccine eight months ago and are now able to get a booster have super immunities to the Delta variant.
We now know the national data results of the thousands of children and adults admitted into hospitals in America with Covid pneumonia. 97% of Covid patients currently in the hospital have not had a vaccine. Many of those children and adults will die in these hospitals. Our own hospital is full of Covid pneumonia now.
Covid pneumonia makes the lungs fill with fluid that is not supposed to be there. This pneumonia is extremely difficult to treat. It makes you short of breath, to the point that you feel like you are suffocating. Covid pneumonia has multiple stages of severity. The most severe stages require not only high quantities of oxygen, but also artificial ventilation in an intensive care unit. As the number of cases of Covid rises, fewer ICU beds are available for the severely ill. For one month now, it is rare for us to find an ICU bed in any children’s hospital for a sick child. It is even rarer to find an ICU bed for an adult in a Texas hospital or in any hospitals in other neighboring states. This information should make it obvious of the need to receive a Covid vaccine as soon as possible.
98% of people who contract Covid do not die. Most people who contract Covid do not become hospitalized. If you do catch Covid, there are multiple treatment options your doctor can use to lessen the severity and duration of your illness. It is imperative that if you catch Covid, to try and not spread it to others and to seek medical help, especially if you are short of breath. Even the mildest form of Covid can be unpleasant.
Hospital physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists who, day in and day out, care for Covid patients are becoming physically and emotionally exhausted. It often takes 1-4 weeks for a Covid patient to be discharged from the hospital and often they do not survive. In this time period, these health care providers become familiar with and become emotionally attached to these patients and their families. It is very taxing to watch Covid patients struggle to breathe, knowing most treatments work poorly and slowly and may end in the patient’s death. Seldom are there days of happiness on any Covid wing of a hospital. Overwhelmingly, most Covid patients wish they had gotten a vaccine to prevent their suffering and hospitalization.
Some of my biggest concerns now are that many Americans still have had no vaccine. They feel untrusting of the vaccine and don’t know what information to believe. The overwhelming majority of my patients have had the vaccine and have tolerated them well. I understand the hesitancy of some to not want a vaccine. The reasons I hear for not receiving a vaccine typically have no scientific merit.
My concern is that there are many individuals who consistently give poor and incorrect information about the Covid vaccines. Often this misinformation prevents someone from getting vaccinated and they subsequently become ill and suffer briefly or terminally from a Covid infection. It concerns me that there are heads of households who will not allow their loved ones to get a vaccine. It concerns me that our state and federal governments often threaten to impose fines for entities like schools and courthouses if they require people to wear masks. It concerns me that getting reelected is more important than saving lives by encouraging vaccines, masks, and distancing in appropriate places. I like Ivermectin, but it concerns me that many people are taking harmfully high doses of it without the guidance of a pharmacist or physician. It concerns me that this virus continues to change, spread, and kill due to the lack of trust and faith in medical science. It concerns me that our local and national health care workers are becoming ill with Covid, are stressed and overworked, and often quit or change professions.
I confidently recommend everyone, young and old, to get a Covid vaccine. I recommend that every 12 year old child and older get a Covid vaccine as soon as possible. These Covid vaccines are proven to be safe, effective, free, and FDA approved. As soon as the vaccine is available and FDA approved for children under 12 years old, I will urgently recommend that also.
There should be no delay in getting a vaccine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future.
Those who have had Covid already will still need a vaccine. If you had Covid over 3-6 months ago, you still need a vaccine, even if you appear to have adequate antibody levels in your bloodstream.
A Covid booster is particularly needed, since we are seeing mild breakthrough or mild repeat Covid cases now. Most boosters are given 8 months after your last Covid vaccine date. You can also get a flu vaccine at the same time you get the Covid vaccine.
It is time to trust these brilliant research scientists who have devoted their careers to protect us from these deadly viruses. It is mind boggling to me how efficiently and accurately these scientists can make safe vaccines and antibody treatments to any virus now. This technology is amazing!
I appreciate the opportunity to serve and co-chair with Dr. Paul Livingston, D.O., as your Comanche county health officer. I respectfully ask you to join us in this ongoing fight against this deadly disease.
Dwayne C. Miller, M.D.
10201 Hwy 16 North
Comanche, TX 76442