Almost all Vanderbilt ICU COVID patients are unvaccinated, from rural counties


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Cases, deaths and hospitalizations are rising in Tennessee as the Delta Covid-19 strain threatens the state.

The state’s largest hospital is seeing an uptick in intensive care unit patients.

At Vanderbilt, behind the walls of an ICU room Covid-19 patients are on the brink of life. They’re attached to a ventilator to assist with breathing as well as an intravenous drips to maintain blood pressure and heart rate.

“Really all of this stuff is being provided to the patient to keep the patient alive,” said Dr. Todd Rice, Director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center Covid-19 unit.

Tennessee continues to struggle with the Delta variant and vaccinations.

Statewide as of Thursday there were 364 Covid positive patients hospitalized with 117 of them in ICUs.

“Almost all the patients that get admitted to the hospital and admitted to me in the intensive care unit are unvaccinated patients,” Dr. Rice said.

Some younger people are becoming sicker with Covid-19 in Tennessee.

“We see much more patients that are in their 40s, patients that are in their 50s, some that are even younger than that,” Dr. Rice said. “We have some in their 30s and some in their 20s.”

Since Thursday, Tennessee reported nearly 600 new Covid-19 cases.

42 percent of people statewide have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

While only 38 percent of people in the state are fully vaccinated.

“Most of our patients who are being admitted now are not from Davidson or Williamson Counties,” Rice said. “They’re from outlying rural counties, which tend to have lower vaccination rates.”

There are over 4,000 active cases of the coronavirus in the state.

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