WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — As we approach the holidays and winter months, medical professionals including Dr. John Goldman, an infectious disease expert at UPMC, are seeing Covid-19 cases rise throughout Central Pennsylvania.
"Covid is a respiratory virus, so we always worry about a fall surge of Covid cases precisely because that is when every other respiratory virus surges," said Dr. John Goldman, an infectious disease expert at UPMC.
UPMC Northcentral currently has 85 people hospitalized with Covid-19. Dr. Goldman says the key to staying out of the hospital is to get vaccinated.
"80-90% of the people are all unvaccinated and only 10-20% are vaccinated. 95% of the people in the ICUs are unvaccinated and 99% of the people who die are unvaccinated," said Dr. Goldman.
The FDA has cleared both Moderna's and Pfizer's Covid vaccine booster shots for all adults across the country.
Booster shots given at least six months after a person is fully vaccinated can help limit infection and transmission of the virus.
"I have parents who are older and one of the reasons I got boosted as soon as I could was not so much because I was worried I would have a breakthrough infection but I didn't want to give it to my parents who could get sicker if they had an infection," said Dr. Goldman.
Medical professionals say Covid-19 is no longer a disease of the old and sick.
"A 50 to 65-year-old who is unvaccinated is actually at higher risk of dying right now than an 80-year-old who is vaccinated," said Dr. Goldman.
If you are in need of a Covid vaccine or booster you can sign up for one through UPMC.