The cumulative number of Flagler residents who have died of Covid reached 140 today, an increase of 26 just in the last three weeks, according to the Flagler County Health Department, as local infections and hospitalizations for covid continue to break records. Data is emerging that points to vaccines losing their efficacy over time, underscoring the push for booster shots in a significant shift from earlier guidance.
The reason: the delta variant of the coronavirus, far more infectiously virulent, has radically changed the landscape, making so-called “breakthrough” infections of the vaccinated more common than originally thought and forcing public health agencies to adjust. Put another way: if covid exposure to the original virus was like walking through a backyard sprinkler, exposure to the delta variant is more like walking through a car wash: a coat and hood can still protect you from getting soaked, but it’s easier to get wet.
As of Wednesday, the number of covid patients at AdventHealth’s 16 hospitals in the Central Florida region had spiked to 1,715, up from 1555 a week ago, with 90 in-patients at AdventHealth Palm Coast, 162 in Daytona Beach, 307 in Orlando and 147 in Altamonte, among other hospitals.
An additional 29 students and four staff members were confirmed to have tested positive in Flagler schools on Wednesday, for a cumulative total of 132 students and 33 staff members since school started last week.
At St. Augustine’s Flagler Health+’s Flagler Hospital, there were 14 covid admissions in the last 24 hours, a total of 100 people currently admitted with a covid-019 diagnosis, 22 of whom were in intensive care and 20 on a ventilator, according to the hospital’s Erin Wallner. A week ago, the hospital had 133 admissions and 30 people with covid in intensive care. That would suggest a possible cresting in the latest wave, though it’s not reflected in the broader numbers from AdfentHealth’s 16 hospitals in the Central Florida region.
“We are currently caring for twice as many COVID-19 inpatients than we had in the two prior spikes in July 2020 and January 2021,” Dr. Neil J. Finkler, AdventHealth Central Florida Division’s Chief Clinical Officer, wrote physicians on Wednesday. “All of our ICUs are at capacity as COVID-19 patients in this wave are sicker and staying longer, all while the volume and severity of non-COVID patients are also rising. Additionally, the age range of COVID-19 patients is shifting younger, with half of patients under the age of 44. This has caused emotional strain on our clinical teams, as it is incredibly difficult to see patients this young and this sick.”
Dr. Vincent Hsu, executive director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiologist, painted a more dire picture as he spoke at an AdventHealth briefing this morning: “This is a unfortunately a crisis of unprecedented proportions. We just haven’t seen these numbers,” he said. “So this has resulted in a lot of tremendous stress, shortages. We’ve got ICUs that are completely filled. And some of the ICU care is occurring in non-ICU areas. Many areas of care are being diverted to traditionally non patient care rooms, such as procedure areas or anesthesia, holding areas. There is a significant number of folks in the ED who are waiting to be admitted to either a regular room or an ICU care, that just are waiting for that.” Hsu said the growth rate, “even though we’re at all time highs, is slowing.” But universal masking and vaccination remains essential.
AdventHealth staff is being “redeployed” in response to the crisis, such as sending operating room staffers or registered nurses to the emergency room, and urging “a great need for hospitalist coverage,” according to Finkler’s internal message, which appeals for “Physicians and advanced practice providers that are willing to provide care beyond their regular duties” to make themselves known. Meanwhile the hospital network remains at “black status,” which means surgeries are limited to emergency procedures.
The Central Florida division is also ready to administer 670 monoclonal antibody treatments a week, “which could make a significant difference in helping patients recover at home and avoid hospitalization.”
But while the rate of breakthrough infections is still low and the rate of aggravations or death from covid in the vaccinated much rarer still, neither is as low as originally reported. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported on data from seven states since delta’s spread in July. “Breakthrough infections in vaccinated people accounted for at least one in five newly diagnosed cases in six of these states and higher percentages of total hospitalizations and deaths than had been previously observed in all of them,” the paper reported. “The absolute numbers remain very low, however, and there is little doubt that the vaccines remain powerfully protective. This continues to be ‘a pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ as federal health officials have often said. Still, the rise indicates a change in how vaccinated Americans might regard their risks.”
For example in California there has been 843 breakthrough hospitalizations–0.4 percent of all covid hospitalizations–and 88 deaths, or 0.5 percent of all covid deaths. The figures for Illinois were 0.9 percent and 1.3 percent. For Colorado, 1.2 percent and 3.1 percent. (See the data here.) Florida is not on the list because the DeSantis administration in late spring stopped issuing detailed daily reports on the pandemic’s effects in the state, and now doesn’t even publish death reports other than one weekly total. It is not broken down by age, sex or gender, and it does not differentiate between unvaccinated or vaccinated victims.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced plans to make booster shots available to all adults starting in September. “Having reviewed the most current data, it is now our clinical judgment that the time to lay out a plan for COVID-19 boosters is now,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on Wednesday. “Recent data makes clear that protection against mild and moderate disease has decreased over time. This is likely due to both waning immunity and the strength of the widespread Delta variant.”
“That is why,” she added, “we are announcing our plan to stay ahead of this virus by being prepared to offer COVID-19 booster shots to fully vaccinated adults 18 years and older. They would be eligible for their booster shot eight months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines. We plan to start this program the week of September 20th, 2021.” The plan is pending an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of a third shot by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
It’s important to keep in mind: a third dose is not the same thing as a booster shot, even though the terms are too often used interchangeably. The booster shot the surgeon general is referring to will be made available to all eligible vaccinated people starting next month. But a third dose is currently available for a small set of people who are immunocompromised. “The intent of a third dose is to provide that extra protection in populations that are not able to generate that immune response,” Hsu said this morning, “so patients that are immunocompromised, patients with cancer, transplant patients, patients on large doses of steroids. When they got the first two doses of the vaccine, many of them were not able to mount that antibody response to really get that protection. As a result a third dose is what is recommended to help hopefully get their immune system up to where that is.”
That’s different from the waning immunity naturally taking place among the normally vaccinated, for whom the booster option is coming. (See the CDC guidance on who is eligible for a third dose now.)
This story is tremendously misleading as it tends to inffer breakthru infections are a significant factor in these skyrocketing hospitalizations. I would quote just how few these actually are but the writer failed to include that information.
The truth, as it is know today, is these hospitalizations are overwhelmingly coming from unvaccinated people. Yes there are some breakthrough infections but these are predominately people with serious underlying health issues.
Mike Cocchiola says
Gov. DeSantis and FL Secretary of Education Richard Corcoran remain adamant that sickness and death are preferable to mask and vaccine mandates. Try to explain that to the 26 families who have lost loved ones in Flagler over the past three weeks. Or the 29 students and 33 staff members in Flagler schools who have tested positive since school started.
The Republican Party is the Party of denial and death.
If you believe you are at risk stay home wear your mask (dont forget your eye protection mask without eye protect are useless) leave the rest of us alone.
Why don’t you stay at home and stick your head up your backside even further. Inconsiderate assholes like you are holding others hostage due to your inbred stupidity .Go drowned in some orange koolaid dumbass.
It’s hard to believe that everything is Covid. There is no other virus out there ? No flu no cold . I still don’t see the effects in palm Coast people get sick And then they the get better that’s life.
Would you like to take a tour of the ICU and the covid patients on ventilators?
How about the RV in the parking lot of the hospital that says stay away, covid+
Talk to the overworked doctors,nurses and support staff. Covid is very real in Palm Coast. Ask all the families who have lost loved ones in the past 3 weeks.
Go to wal mart east entrance. Talk to the greeter the one right by the wreath and candle.
diane errair says
wear a mask.
not feeding your kids, not providing shelter, not providing medical care, not putting the kids in a seatbelt, not getting immunizations for tetanus, polio, diptheria, measles, pox, etc they cant start school without, smoking around them, not supervising or knowing where they are, subjecting them to alcohol , drugs, unsafe people or any harm, intentionally or not, is by law neglect and abuse….. so in a world-wide pandemic disabling and killing millions of people, and not protecting our children IS neglect and abuse.
its not the children that have a oroblem with wearing a mask, its their parents using it for political reasons, because they are neglecting and abusing their kids or they are just plain ignorant.
Correct! you maskless people have no “rights” that allow you to harm your kids, or anyone else, including our healthcare system that youll be running to, overloading it. people with aids that knowingly spread it can be prosecuted.
you without a mask, are guilty of knowingly spreading a disabling and deadly virus and thats a crime.
This is never going to end, is it – regardless if we have the means to slow it down. There’s always going to be the deniers, the adamant refusers, the conspiracy theorists.
How on earth did humans even survive The Plague?
Trump was not born then and his father was not into politics. If he had been born, the world probably would not exist today. That puts his destructive personality and concern for people into proper perspective.
1. Who thought this vaccine would make you immune? No one said that. It’s a virus. The flu is a virus. You get an annual flu shot, why did no one think you’d need an annual covid shot? Why did no one think, like the flu, other variants or strains would develop that evaded the vaccines thus requiring the creation of vaccines for multi-strains. Read the history of immunization and spillover events. Fascinating stuff.
2. Because of so many unvaccinated by choice (some are unvaccinated because of severe allergies to ingredients in Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J — I am one, however with the assistance of my allergist and dermatologist, I’m getting my first Moderna, and having all the tools necessary to counteract a severe reaction. Of course if those fail then I’ll need a hospital and fingers crossed I don’t need that. However, I haven’t left my house except to go to my doctors and I wear an n99 whenever I go there so…), masks are necessary. Have you people seen images being reported on by news media from inside DeathSantis’ RegeneRON centers? People are crumpled up on the floor sobbing and dying thinking this is a miracle cure, going there because they trust HIM over a doctor. They need a hospital. Now a treatment that’s only 20% effective and needs administration at the very early stages, not when you’re so far gone you’re crumpled on the floor gasping for air, literally dying.
3. What happened to us? As a people? Seriously. I’m not even out of my 30s yet and this is such a sad, sad world. When did we stop caring about others? When did we stop saying protect all lives and get to well they had pre-existing conditions so, oh well, they die. You know damn well enough their comorbidity wouldn’t have “killed” them for another 20, 30, or 40 years. I don’t think I’ve ever looked around more disgusted at my fellow species. It’s so bad, I oftentimes feel like I’m part of an alien race that missed the mothership home. Come back and get me, I want out of crazy town.
4. Why would you trust a man, who doesn’t even know how to put on a mask, as your scientific authority? He’s pushing RegeneRON because he received a nice donation. Always watch what they do and not what they say. Will people ever learn politicians are not God, they are all snake oil salesmen peddling the talking points that ignite their base which leads to money, money, money and power, power, power. Very few are about the people. Very, very few.
5. Our founding fathers required smallpox vaccines for people in government, military, and of a certain age. They required a lot of the newly formed republic. They were socialists. They would’ve locked Trump up for treason as well as all the insurrectionists, so please stop using the founding fathers as your rebuttal. You have no effing clue what you’re talking about. Wear a mask. Shut the eff up about it and grow the eff up you petulant children. I mean aren’t the anti-mask people the ones that scream, “I’ll do anything for my country! I’m a patriot.” Okay, wear a mask. Crying and screaming and kicking your feet,” “I don’t wanna you commie!! You can’t make me!! This is ‘Merica!”
Yeah…and we wonder why we’ve fallen so far down the crap hole we’ll never claw our way through the sludge-lined walls.
The Bubonic Black Lovely Antonine Cyprian Justinian Cocoliztli.. list goes on... Plagues says
It’s just the culling of the herd. It’s nothing new and it’s Nothing to do with herd immunity, this death is just past down lovingly from the anti vaxxers / anti maskers specifically to that same group like history on repeat…. this culling of the herd causes no need to be alarmed… The cullings shall continue till the virus says so…as long as you wear no mask or take no vaxx… cullings continue… all others are unculled until further notice but still not out of the cullings call.. but further away yet.
Online counts still remain at 114 for Flagler County. I dunno, everywhere I’ve been, I see fewer masks than ever and that’s voluntary wearing with news like this that stage 4 is raging on ? Until any reporting method indicates what other health issues these patients have, “we’ll just have to trust” what we’re fed as news, regardless of source ? And if FL DOH doesn’t report Covid accurately, why isn’t Advent publishing their own local reports ? Delta variant s ? Advent is already pushing the Lambda variant(s) ?
Politically, Trump developed 3 effective vaccines, yet Biden has developed variant booster vaccines at best that are ineffective ? The guy that told you he was going to get the virus under control seems to have lied to everyone. And since the accusation that FL DOH isn’t reporting anymore, why aren’t people being fired for non-performance of their jobs ? If there were ever a cling to perpetuate anything in the past 1.5 years, would this be that clinging ? Kinda hard to believe Biden-Harris when they don’t wear masks ? They’re too busy bungling a border crisis & pullout in Afghanistan. Remember the article about Staly’s trip to the Texas border ? We’re going to see immigration from Afghanistan => Mexico => USA. NY Times already publishing articles on that refugee take in. How is Biden-Harris going to handle that ? Connecting dots, it’s going to happen, reported on or not. I think they won’t tell us the numbers, if they don’t report those, maybe nobody will notice ?
Only Me says
Pretty pathetic the Governor of Florida only cares now about pushing a medicine that not most have access to, and he only cares about that medicine because he owns stock in that company. Other than that he will continue to not want any news told about the spread of the virus in Florida and is only interested in his political career.
Karen Curry says
Good thing COVDIOTS still believe Covid is a hoax, cause every person with even ONE viable brain cell left in their heads are scared shitless & getting in line for vaccinations or boosters. The anti-vax anti-mask stooges turning violent is the last straw, they deserve no sympathy for what is bound to befall them, it’s the collateral damage they are intentionally causing that has to end. They’ve made their choices, let them have at it, it’s downside is that we can’t intercept others that they are putting in Delta’s way. What is the maximum sentence for fillicide & homicide in FL?
Scamdemic Huh. If it werent so preventable or at least muted by simple steps that the populous could have taken as a whole I would say LOL but when you dont take it seriously bad things happen. Be safe
It’s come to this apparently; COVID is coming for the children now. Perhaps that will wake up the anti-vaccine contingent to just get the vaccine! It is FREE of cost to all. Wake up people, please.
“On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced plans to make booster shots available to all adults starting in September.”
I would think the one & done J&J latest revision would be ideal for a booster shot. If it’s been updated for Delta variants, why wouldn’t that be available today for anyone willing to get the next gen vaccine for a next gen Covid ? How would they know the difference though ? The production lot of the vaccine labeling , how would it be indicated on our CDC (score) Cards record ? It’s my understanding that there is no way to get Covid from the vaccines and since the concept is to train immune systems to ward off & fight Covid harder/better, you would think that the more exposure to Covid like matter and the immune system would respond and perhaps become stronger for it ? But that really depends upon the individual, weaker immune system is capable of getting stronger after a certain point ?
Excellent post WonderWhy!
Not to confuse the “CULT” with data that says they are not in the majority, here is a link to a poll by the Associated Press that clearly indicates that the majority prefers vaccine mandates in crowded public places and on airplanes.
I guess I missed the memo from God. If you believe that God will protect you and heal you, please go to church when you get the Virus. Leave the Doctors and hospitals for us heathens.