Hospitals across New England are reporting full intensive care units and staff shortages as a result of COVID- related illnesses that are starting to impact care, despite the region having the highest vaccination rates in the country.
Public officials say the record case counts, hospitalizations and deaths that rival pre-vaccine peaks are largely among the unvaccinated and are pleading with the part of the population to get the shots, according to the Associated Press.
“I think it’s clearly frustrating for all of us,” said Michael Pieciak, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation who monitors COVID-19 statistics for the state. “We want kids to be safe in school, we want parents not to have to worry about their child’s education and health.”
Associated Press statistics show five U.S. states with the highest percentage of a fully vaccinated population are all in New England – with Vermont leading at 69.4%, followed by Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. New Hampshire is 10th at 61.5%.