Local doctor urges people to get the COVID-19 vaccine as new concerns arise


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The entire age demographic of those being hospitalized for COVID-19 has changed, and our local hospitals are urging everyone to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus.

8 News Now caught up with Dr. Domenic Martinello, chief medical officer of Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center. As an emergency room physician, he is treating people in their 20s to 50s, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated and dealing with very serious consequences of the coronavirus.

If you got COVID in the past and recovered, you might have immunity that lasts 90 to 120 days, but you are not immune for a year.

Martinello says all antibodies are not created equal. He is urging you to get a vaccine because the second time around, getting COVID is that much worse.

“Unfortunately, it does a tremendous amount of damage to lungs up front, respiratory, those lungs get second insult. It also generates blood clots,” the ER doctor explained. “We are seeing otherwise healthy young people suffering with lung issues, even blood clots, causing stroke in the brain, devastating issues, myocarditis of the heart muscle and sac that surrounds the heart, significant cardiac issues, lasting quite prolonged, six to eight, 12 months out, especially reinfections, persistent heart damage, shortness of breath walking up a flight of stairs. The first time, bad. The second time, worse.”

Martinello says eight out of every 10 people being treated for COVID at his hospital are unvaccinated. Those who get the virus, despite being vaccinated, are having only mild symptoms, compared to the unvaccinated.

He also says although hospitals planned for an uptick in serious cases, the hope was that a lot more people would have gotten vaccinated, at this point, to help stop the spread.

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