The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said no patients admitted to its four hospitals and 19 health care centers for COVID-19 have been fully vaccinated against the disease.
“To date, we have not had a patient admitted to a [Department of Health Services] hospital who has been fully vaccinated, with either the J&J, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” county health services director Christina Ghaly told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, CNN reports.
She added, “Every single patient that we’ve admitted for COVID is not yet fully vaccinated.”
Ghaly’s comments come as Los Angeles County is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
There are around 400 people hospitalized for coronavirus throughout the region, and the disease positivity rate has increased to 3 percent — a figure last seen in the area in February, according to CNN. Last week, the county reported a 165 percent rise in coronavirus infections in a single week.
More than 60 percent of Californians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those who aren’t vaccinated are putting themselves at greater risk, Ghaly said.
“It’s really been a very challenging year, and I think it’s made all the more challenging because we see the suffering that these patients and their families are going through, and it’s very preventable at this point in time,” she said.
Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Public Health, echoed Ghaly’s sentiment, saying that vaccines remain “the most important tool we have to keep COVID-19 transmission and the incubation of variants low.”
The news comes as U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyOvernight Health Care: CDC director warns of ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ | Biden says social media platforms ‘killing people’ | Florida accounts for 20 percent of new cases Hillicon Valley: Biden: Social media platforms ‘killing people’ | Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push | Top House antitrust Republican forms ‘Freedom from Big Tech Caucus’ Biden: Social media platforms ‘killing people’ MORE made a personal plea from the White House for Americans to get vaccinated and stop spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s painful for me to know that nearly every death we are seeing now from COVID-19 could have been prevented,” Murthy said. “I say that as someone who has lost 10 family members to COVID-19, and who wishes each and every day that they had the opportunity to get vaccinated.”