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Survey Finds Vaccine Hesitancy Is Down, And It Couldn't Come Sooner As ICUs Squeezed With Unvaccinated COVID Patients

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 51% of beds in the intensive care units in Florida are being used to treat patients with COVID-19.

"Delta is just ripping through the hospitals in ways we just couldn't imagine," said Dr. Nitesh Paryani, an oncologist at Tampa Oncology and Proton.

In the South, where vaccinations have been lagging, hospitals have been hit especially hard.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arkansas all have only about 10% of their ICU beds left.

"I had to turn away a cancer patient that needed emergency treatment simply due to the fact that my hospital didn't have any beds," said Dr. Paryani.

A CDC vaccine adviser says the hospitalization rate is 16-times greater in the unvaccinated population than in those vaccinated.

While the majority of those patients are unvaccinated, the good news is that vaccine hesitancy is starting to decrease.

According to a new poll, the number of Americans saying they are not very likely or at all likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine has dropped from 34% in March to 20%. That's a new low in the survey.

As for children, Dr. Richina Bicette said "the number of pediatric cases are increasing and they're going to keep increasing."

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now reporting a five-fold increase in the number of children testing positive from a month ago.

However, the number of parents who said they'd likely vaccinate their children has also risen by 12 points from two weeks ago. And 68% of those polled now say they're likely to or already have vaccinated their children.

Vaccine hesitancy is relatively low in South Florida.

In Miami-Dade, 86% of people 12 and up are vaccinate, while 77% are vaccinated in Broward and 76% in Monroe County.

South Florida leads the state in the rate of vaccination.

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