EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The most recent data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health finds the COVID testing positivity rate is more than 35 percent.
Doctors say the alarming statistic helps drive home the importance of getting vaccinated. Pennsylvania currently has 74.9 percent of all Pennsylvania adults fully vaccinated according to data released Tuesday.
That still means one in four adults isn’t. A campaign is underway to change that in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
Allan Irace of Harding was among the latest Pennsylvanians to test positive for COVID-19.
“I tested just yesterday because I was sick all last week. I was very weak,” Irace said.
But he didn’t need to be hospitalized which he credits to getting vaccinated and boosted.
“Oh yes, definitely. Or I wouldn’t be here today,” Irace said.
It’s that sort of message being delivered through the campaign ‘It’s Up To You’ by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative. The American Medical Association is a driving force encouraging vaccinations to help prevent severe disease from the virus and its variants.
“Even if you get it and you’re fully vaccinated, especially if you’re boosted, you’re much less likely to get it, much less likely to get sick enough to become to the attention of treatment and hospitalized, supportive ventilation and death,” American Medical Association president Dr. Gerald Harmon said.
It’s no secret adult vaccination rates far exceed those of eligible children. Dr. Harmon addressed parents’ reluctance to get their kids vaccinated.
“It bothers me a little bit but that’s what parents do. They want to test the waters. They want to find out the depth of the water, the temperature even before they give their infants. Is this milk warm enough or hot enough? They’re going to test it for them and they’re waiting a little bit. I understand the questions they might have,” Dr. Harmon said.
Questions which can be answered by the “It’s Up To You” campaign and help fight what Dr. Harmon calls a “two front war”.
“Not only am I fighting and healthcare professionals are fighting a war against the virus, the coronavirus, and other chronic disease in the country we’re fighting a war of misinformation and disinformation and spread of inaccurate, anecdotal stories that are really deteriorating our public health system. It’s frustrating for us,” Dr. Harmon said.
Irace says after losing two people close to him from COVID-19 and now battling the disease himself, he chose to share his pro-vaccine stance.
“I hope it helps other people,” Irace said.
Irace told Eyewitness News his brother and a pastor friend who died from COVID-19 did not want to be vaccinated.