COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — For the first time since August, patient numbers have been in the single digits in the ICU at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs. Right now, there are seven patients with COVID-19.
While Dr. Sumit Mukherjee, the Medical Director of the ICU clings onto hope, he still sees people coming in with more severe disease compared to last year.
"Particularly in the younger folks...we have much younger people overall than we had ever before," Mukherjee said. "So we have, for example, two patients on the ventilator who are in their 20s."
Mukherjee says 90% of their hospitalizations are unvaccinated people. He calls it "frustrating."
Pottawattamie County Public Health's Matt Wyant says 50% of residents are vaccinated. Wyant says he would always like to see more sign-ups.
"It's one of those things where you don't know how hard it will hit until it gets into somebody either yourself or somebody you really care for," Wyant said.
Mukherjee believes everything in medicine is about risk versus benefits. That same philosophy applies to COVID.
"The benefit of taking that vaccine far outweighs any type of risk associated with the vaccination," Mukherjee said. "We see it every day. I saw that yesterday in somebody who I saw died from COVID."
Dr. Mujherjee also says he has gotten calls from community hospitals in Harlan and Red Oak that are struggling to take care of patients with advanced respiratory failure.