Health

Indiana Gov. Holcomb disappointed with absurd reasons for vaccine refusal

As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Indiana has doubled over the past month, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday expressed disappointment at the “absurd” reasons some are refusing to vaccinate, although he is not proposing any new state action to combat with the spread of the virus.

Many members of the Republican-dominated legislature are set to enact measures in a second year to curb virus-fighting efforts – this time a bill obliging businesses to provide broad exemptions to workplace vaccination requirements that can be voted on shortly after the start of the new legislative session. early January.

Indiana is approaching a COVID-19 hospitalization rate unseen since this time a year ago, before vaccines became widely available, with one health official said the peak hospitalization could be in a month. However, Holcomb is seeking lawmakers to approve administrative measures that he says will enable him to end the COVID-19 public health emergency in Indiana, which he first announced in March 2020, despite that many health experts argue that now is not the time.

Holcomb recalled, during an interview with Statehouse, a woman who told him that she was glad that he opposed President Joe Biden’s proposed vaccination mandates for large enterprises, but also that she was disappointed that Holcomb received the COVID-19 vaccine because “Now there was a chip in me. … “

“We are dealing with absurdities, we are dealing with facts, and there is a lot in between for people to form their own opinion,” Holcomb told The Associated Press. “What I need to do is try to be convincing enough for people to understand that they are going to learn it the easy way or the hard way, unfortunately with the vaccine or not.”

Holcomb received his first COVID-19 vaccine in March when a mass vaccination clinic opened at the Indianapolis circuit and was boosted on November 2. He has consistently encouraged vaccinations, but withdrew from coverage of the state’s actions following the cut-off of regular coronavirus news. briefings in March.

Nearly 2,500 COVID-19 patients have been treated in Indiana hospitals as of Sunday, up 106% in a month and 25% in a week, according to the state health department. About a quarter of these patients are in intensive care units of hospitals. Indiana hospital admissions are almost equal to the September peak due to the state’s summer surge and within 1,000 due to a late 2020 surge that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indiana has the 11th highest rate of fully vaccinated population in the country at 51%. Nine rural counties scattered across the state have vaccination rates below 40%.

Holcomb said the pandemic remains a real threat and claims lives, but he argues that the government’s role is to provide vaccines and other resources, not to impose vaccine demands or mask mandates.

“However, this is pretty much a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and at some point, and we are there, people have to take responsibility for their lives,” Holcomb said. “Unfortunately, their inaction has adverse consequences for others.”

The state averaged about 25 COVID-19 deaths per day last month, up from the mid-40s at the end of September, as the Indiana pandemic toll topped 17,700.

Health experts were alarmed by the new spike in infection as people spend more time indoors even before the identification of the omicron variant sparked new concerns around the world.

Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor said concerns with healthcare professionals and concerns about possible flu outbreaks are emerging at a time when COVID-19 patients are experiencing some weakness in state hospitals.

“We just need to keep informing not only the state, but all of us, I think individually, our friends, neighbors, everyone who hesitates to get vaccinated. The time has come, and it’s not just about signing contracts. COVID to make sure there is a hospital bed for you or your loved one, no matter what happens. “


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