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'The Ugly Truth For Us': 4th Wave Of Cases Has Jackson Memorial's COVID Floor Packed With Unvaccinated Patients

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It's a full house Monday afternoon in the Jackson Memorial COVID ICU.

"This fourth wave, the unvaccinated pandemic is actually a super bad reality," explained ICU Nurse Manager Alix Zacharski. "It's the ugly truth for us."

Zacharski told CBS4 all the patients here have several things in common – they're younger and none of them are vaccinated.

"All of them are unvaccinated," she said. "We're full.  All the patients that are currently here, six of them are under 60 years old."

Dr. David De La Zerda is the lead ICU physician at Jackson. He's concerned about the growing number of patients being treated for COVID.

"Most of our patients are unvaccinated," Dr. De La Zerda said.

On Friday, there were 171 COVID patients at JMH. It rose by three on Saturday. By Sunday, it was at 195. Now, it's over 200.

Of the 205 currently at Jackson's COVID floor, 185 of them are unvaccinated. While 20 were vaccinated, 15 of them are immunocompromised.

"There are many Immunocompromised," he said. "We have here a large transplant program, so most of these patients are kidney transplant, lung transplant and some patients with obesity and hypertension."

CBS4 was hoping to speak with a patient, but everyone was too sick to talk – many having difficulties breathing.

Yvette Pons, the associate nurse manager on the COVID floor, told CBS4 that while a few vaccinated patients end up there, those who got the shot usually make out much better than those who are unvaccinated.

"You may get it, but you are not going to get it really bad.  You can come to the hospital, we can treat you and you can go home, rather than come to the hospital and never go home," Pons said.

She said the solution is simple.

"I encourage everybody to not do it for yourself only but for your family, your friends," she said. "Just get vaccinated!"

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