Northwell Health doctor eyes vaccination rate as more crucial than uptick in COVID-19 cases

Northwell Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Battinelli says he's more worried about vaccination rates.

News 12 Staff

Jul 21, 2021, 8:03 PM

Updated 1,000 days ago

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While the uptick in COVID-19 cases is causing concern on Long Island, one doctor says there's another number that we should be focusing on.
Northwell Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Battinelli says he's more worried about vaccination rates.
"I would say to me the most important statistic is the percentage of the population that's vaccinated," says Battinelli. "Because if you look at this carefully, you'll understand that every person who is not vaccinated is at risk."
Dr. Battinelli says hospitalization numbers are up slightly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 97% of the people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 aren't vaccinated.
"Am I concerned? There certainly is enough of an unvaccinated population to spread disease and that's what you're seeing with a variant that spreads easily," says Nassau Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. "So, without question the single most important way to put an end to this is to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible."
According to New York state's vaccine tracker, 59.2% of Long Islanders are fully vaccinated.  Dr. Battinelli says that still leaves a large chunk of the population that is unprotected.    
MORE: COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: 12 Things You Need to Know
MORE: NY health officials: 8.7K of 11 million vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19

"The disease will be around and will still grow as long as there is a significant population that's unvaccinated and as we know by walking around unwilling to wear the mask even though they know they're unvaccinated," says Battinelli.  


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