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MAYORAL ROUNDTABLES: India Walton and Byron Brown answer questions from seven WBFO reporters in two one hour specials.

The cost of caring for the unvaccinated is on the rise

Photo of Dr. Nancy Nielsen
Buffalo.edu
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Dr. Nancy Nielsen is the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

As the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Nancy Nielsen has been able to offer expert perspective throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as she follows the health trends locally and around the country. In this week's conversation with WBFO, Nielsen cites an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The totals from the last three months alone show "the cost of treating hospitalized patients who were unvaccinated reached $5.7 billion."

"So, that's scary. The national situation is that a quarter of all the adults in the U.S. are still unvaccinated. That's a real problem."

The Delta variant, Nielsen says, is highly contagious and is now connected to 99 percent of the COVID cases around the country.

"It's going to find any unvaccinated person."

Local infection rates are also rising. This past week the rate stood at 152 per 100,000.

"Interestingly in Erie County, the highest case rates are in people under 19. So, the teenagers haven't gotten vaccinated. It's a little under 50 percent."