The current pandemic situation in the city was described by Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley as “very dangerous” and likely to lead to an increase in deaths.
According to a Fox29 report, Dr. Farley´s somber projections are based on the insufficient percentage of people vaccinated. “This is a very dangerous period. We have not yet vaccinated enough people to stop this particular wave of the epidemic,” the Commissioner said Wednesday at the grand opening of the city’s seventh vaccination clinic.
Farley expects an increase in COVID-19 related deaths to follow an uptick in coronavirus infection across the city. “Case rates of COVID infection right now in Philadelphia are rising, we’re at more than 400 cases per day,” Farley told reporters.
The health authority added that the number of hospitalizations in Philadelphia is also climbing which he expects will lead to more deaths. “We know that deaths tend to lag behind (hospitalizations), so I would expect we’re going to have an increase in deaths from COVID, I hate to say that but I can expect it based on the numbers we’re seeing right now.”
Farley underlined that roughly 70% of Philadelphia residents 64 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The elderly population is considered by health experts to be a high risk group for contracting serious illness and death from the coronavirus.
To upgrade the process
Philadelphia recently moved into Phase 1B of its vaccine rollout. This includes members of the clergy, people with intellectual disabilities, and anyone who takes immune-suppressing medications. Healthcare workers, long term care residents and staff, and people 65 and older remain eligible.
According to the latest data, nearly 300,000 Philadelphians have been partially vaccinated and just under 200,000 are now fully protected. With a population of more than 1.5M people, Philadelphia needs to upgrade the vaccination process to reach all residents.