Missouri becomes hot spot for Delta variant fueling hospitalizations while vaccination efforts lag

In June, Louie Michael and his wife, Patti, were admitted as Covid-19 patients at Springfield’s Mercy Hospital, one of two major hospitals in southwest Missouri.

Pattie was hospitalized first. She has asthma and is immunocompromised. Michael followed the next day, arriving by ambulance.
He chronicled his bout with Covid-19 on Facebook, sharing his health updates daily. “The breathing is labored, it’s tough. This stuff is real,” said Michael.

Speaking to the Springfield News-Leader, Michael said the couple never entirely ruled out the vaccine, but they did put off the decision, waiting to see the results between the available vaccines.
Something they now regret.

“I hope people do think about getting the vaccination. It’s your prerogative, but I wish I had done it just to just avoid this,” Michael said. “This new Delta variant, which they do think that I might have had, is just dive bombing everybody who didn’t get the other before.”

Missouri is seeing a concerning uptick in hospitalizations due to Covid-19’s Delta variant, which originated in India. In Springfield alone, there has been a 225% increase in hospital admissions since June 1, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department

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