On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, Hoag Hospital President and CEO Robert T. Braithwaite sent an email to Hoag subscribers with an update on COVID-19.
Braithwaite began the email by stating his desire to share valuable information and to “hopefully set the record straight on some misinformation that is circulating online.”
First and foremost, stated Braithwaite, if you are not yet vaccinated, please get vaccinated.
“At Hoag, more than 95 percent of people with COVID-19 who require hospitalization are unvaccinated individuals,” wrote Braithwaite. “This is partly why we are seeing relatively young and otherwise healthy people coming in very sick: people ages 18-24 are still the most vaccine hesitant group in the country.”
Braithwaite explained that the dangerous misconceptions and misinformation driving vaccine hesitancy have grave implications on those who don’t get vaccinated – as well as for their families and communities.
“Virtually every patient we have seen who did not get vaccinated and ended up in the hospital regrets their decision not to be vaccinated,” wrote Braithwaite. “Some of them have missed weddings, travel, time with loved ones, and work.”
“We continue to encourage unvaccinated community members to get the vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones,” added Braithwaite. “Yes, breakthrough cases are occurring, in which vaccinated individuals are developing COVID-19. However, in those cases, the vaccine has helped reduce the severity and duration of the illness. The vaccine works.”
Vaccine appointments can be scheduled at two convenient Hoag locations in Newport Beach and Irvine through www.hoag.org/covid-vaccine.
Hoag also offers vaccines for travelers and staff at John Wayne Airport through their Fly Well Clinic. To view all available locations and appointments near you, visit the Vaccine Finder at https://www.vaccines.gov.
“As we fight this latest surge, the lessons learned over the past 18 months guides our ability to keep our community safe,” wrote Braithwaite. “We are well prepared to provide high quality care to all of our patients, even as case counts rise. Working closely with our internal resources, and state and county health officials, we have surge plans in place and options available to us as this situation evolves.”
According to Braithwaite, due to the rise in COVID cases and for the protection of patients, visitors and staff, the California Department of Public Health has mandated that as of August 11, all visitors to acute care hospitals such as Hoag Hospital Newport Beach and Hoag Hospital Irvine will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or have a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours.
To learn more about the state mandate visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Order-of-the-State-Public-Health-Officer-Requirements-for-Visitors-in-Acute-Health-Care-and-Long-Term-Care-Settings.
To learn more about Hoag’s visitor policy please visit https://covid19.hoag.org/updated-visitor-policy/.
“If more people were vaccinated, we could slow the spread and further mutation of the coronavirus,” concluded Braithwaite. “This is an important point as viruses rely on unvaccinated people to not only spread but to mutate. Getting vaccinated will protect the community’s most vulnerable populations, reduce the impact on our health care resources and keep our valued staff and their families well. This pandemic will likely not end without your help. The most important thing you can do for yourself, your family and your community is to get vaccinated.”
The email was signed by both Braithwaite and Philip A. Robinson, MD, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Principal Investigator of Infectious Disease Research for HOAG.
For more information, visit the CDC Covid-19 Info page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
Visit the Hoag COVID-19 website at https://covid19.hoag.org/.