NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Have you made your appointment to get your second COVID-19 booster vaccine yet? The CDC is urging certain people to do so to help prevent contracting the new variants of COVID-19.
Cardiologist Dr. Keith Newby, of Fort Norfolk Medical in Norfolk, says he’s seeing those new variants in his patients and he’s made a troubling discovery.
“The people I have who are dying or who are having major problems are those who have remained unvaccinated,” he said.
Newby is also the medical director of Health Equity at Sentara Healthcare system. Part of that job is to tell people that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
“No, it’s not over. I had somebody die last week of COVID-19,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported at least 80% of Americans eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have received at least one shot.
And, the numbers of those dying and needing hospitalization due to COVID-related complications are trending down.
“I think that the relative risk [of contracting COVID-19] if you’ve been vaccinated, is a lot lower,” said Newby.
But he agrees with the CDC’s recommendation that adults 50 and over should get the second COVID-19 booster vaccine. Newby says his main focus is to reach those who haven’t had any shot yet.
“Those that have multiple medical problems potential diabetes, heart disease, prior strokes, people who are on cancer therapy,” are especially at risk, Newby said.
And, for those who are healthy now, Newby says “keep your guard up.”
“I have not had one death in the last year of anybody who’s had a vaccination. They’ve all been unvaccinated patients,” Newby said.
“I’m not ready to roll the dice with my life. I still wear a mask everywhere I go,” he said.