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In Video, Castor Urges Tampa Residents To Get Coronavirus Vaccine As Cases Spike

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaking with Dr.  Jason Wilson with Tampa General Hospital.
Tampa City Government
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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor urged residents to receive a coronavirus vaccine during a video interview with Dr. Jason Wilson, a Tampa General Hospital emergency physician.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor made the plea in a video interview with an emergency room doctor at Tampa General Hospital who reports a sharp increase in the number of younger patients contracting COVID-19.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is urging residents to get a coronavirus vaccine with cases on the rise across the greater Tampa Bay region — especially with younger patients.

Castor stressed the need to get a vaccine in a video released Wednesday.

"You have a responsibility to get a vaccine not only for yourself, but for your family and the rest of the community," Castor said.

Castor made the plea during a video interview Wednesday with Jason Wilson, an emergency room doctor at Tampa General Hospital.

Wilson said the current situation mirrors the cases that TGH saw at the peak of the virus last year.

"I'm having deja vu or basically what I was doing this time last summer," Wilson said. "I'm essentially doing the same thing right now. So we're kind of in the same spot we were in a year ago. We're seeing a really big rapid shift in the types of patients with COVID."

Wilson said the number of COVID-related hospitalizations at TGH has increased sharply in the last two weeks, jumping from around 15 to close to 80 now.

But unlike last year's surge, Wilson said younger patients are now making up the majority of new hospitalizations.

"Remember last summer, we were thinking, if you were young, you probably didn't have very serious symptoms with COVID. Maybe you had COVID but you just stayed home," Wilson said. "It was older people we thought of being hospitalized. That's not really the case right now. The average age of our hospitalizations is people in their 40s."

Wilson attributed the rise not only to younger people who are not vaccinated, but to the difficulty in treating the delta variant as fewer people are practicing social distancing and wearing face masks.

"Here's the bottom line," Wilson said. "If you don't have a vaccine, you're going to get COVID, you're going to get the delta variant or some other variant, we haven't even imagined yet.

"These strains we're seeing are just becoming more virulent, becoming more infectious. They transmit so much easier. We're around each other, we're not doing as many social mitigation strategies as we were before, and we've gotten very low vaccine numbers."

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