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COVID cases on the rise in San Diego ICUs, from the vaccine hesitant to virus deniers

COVID cases on the rise in local ICUs, from the vaccine hesitant to COVID deniers
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 22, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As coronavirus cases surge, Kaiser Permanente’s ICUs are seeing a variety of unvaccinated, from remorseful, vaccine-hesitant patients to COVID deniers.

Inside the two local Kaiser Permanente hospitals — fueled by the delta variant — cases of COVID in the past month have been on the rise. They have mirrored county trends, including a doubling of hospitalizations in the past week.

And just like across the county, the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated are most at risk.

RELATED: San Diego County's COVID-19 cases spike 82% in a week

Dr. William Tseng heads the local COVID vaccine program for Kaiser Permanente.

“We're not seeing people who are fully vaccinated ending up in the hospital or intensive care unit,” said Dr. Tseng.

When it comes to those being hospitalized, Dr. Tseng believes there is a fairly even breakdown between those who say they didn't have enough information, those who are vaccine-hesitant, and those who are opposed to vaccines.

“For those opposed, it doesn’t matter what happens. Doesn’t matter what you say. They just don't want it. For those who are hesitant, they say, ‘I know there's enough information out there. I just didn't do it,’” said Dr. Tseng. "I still hear questions about, ’is there a microchip in there?' I still hear about the infertility question.”

Dr. Tseng says whatever the reason for not getting vaccinated, most of remorseful.

“As they're getting well, that’s when they're asking for it. ‘When can I get it the vaccine?’ or ‘Where should I get the vaccine?’” said Dr. Tseng.

For others, the remorse isn't there because they don't believe in COVID, even when they are shown their own test results.

"There is a segment of those who are being hospitalized who still don't believe this is COVID,” said Dr. Tseng.

Dr. Tseng declined to give numbers but says that segment isn't a large number. Across the globe, there continue to be reports of COVID deniers, who maintain the virus is a hoax.

“That’s concerning to me. In order to really defeat this pandemic, we need to understand, and we need to trust the science,” he said.