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Local health officials optimistic following early COVID-19 vaccine impacts

Health officials say local hospitals are already seeing fewer severe cases of COVID-19.
Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Local health officials say they are optimistic following the early results of the community-wide COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Seth Sullivan says they are already seeing some positive things he believes are correlated to the mass vaccination.

“We are seeing less severe COVID-19. We are seeing less hospitalized patients. We are seeing less ICU critical care patients, less ventilator usage, and also seeing fewer deaths,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Sullivan says this is an encouraging sign, especially as thousands more people are vaccinated each week. He stresses that getting the vaccine is key and the main way we know how to fight this virus.

“We have a lot of work to do this summer and then it is going to be all eyes on fall,” said Dr. Sullivan. “But I think that herd immunity is that much closer to that golden target and we will be in a better spot come this fall.”

Even after a difficult year, Sullivan says the advances in medical technology and vaccine distribution have been incredible. He says having a vaccine safely given to millions of people in a few months has been groundbreaking. Sullivan says it is something we can look to if we are put in a situation like this again in the future.

With what we have learned in this last year in mind, Sullivan expects some of it to roll over into our new normal, including how we fight seasonal viruses like the flu.

“I don’t envision there will be mass masking or social distancing forever at all, and I don’t think anyone wants that,” said Sullivan. “But I think there will be a more targeted approach that makes sense for those individuals who are at higher risk.”

For now, Sullivan says we need to continue what we have been doing in order to push forward.

“Follow the science, follow the guidance, get vaccinated, and encourage our loved ones to do the same,” said Sullivan.

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