“Give us the vaccine”: CEO of CoxHealth expects COVID cases to increase

COVID Vaccine Updates

FILE – This undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Britain has authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the “vaccine for the world.” The United Kingdom government says the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has made an emergency authorization for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca.
(John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A CoxHealth briefing reported that COVID-19 patients had gone down three weeks ago, but the number of cases has been growing every day.

According to Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, there are 158 COVID patients in the system, and he anticipates that the number to continue to rise in the next two weeks.

In terms of vaccinations, Edwards said they could handle vaccinating many more people if they have the supply.

“We are hopeful that the state will allow hospitals and health departments to work together, give us the vaccine, quite frankly get out of our way and let us do what we’re good at,” said Edwards. “We’ve got 91% of our vaccines done in 10 days, that includes Christmas and New Years. We think we can probably deliver 10,000 a day if you give us the vaccine.”

Infectious disease specialist Doctor Robin Trotman said several people would have to get the vaccine for us to achieve herd immunity.

“A vaccine might benefit you, but if we want to have our system open back up and feel free to move about the community, we need a certain threshold of people to receive the vaccine, that might be 60% or 70%,” said Trotman. “If 70% receive the vaccine, then there’s enough bumpers in the road that it squashes transmission.”

CoxHealth does not have sufficient bed capacity right now but is expecting increased hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

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