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UnityPoint Health Video Calls for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Twitter/UnityPoint Health

The largest health care system in Iowa is urging people to get vaccinated.

UnityPoint Health released a video message on Twitter over the holiday saying, "we are still at war with COVID-19." Patients also received an email with a link to the video and vaccination information.

One hospital employee described seeing 11 patients die in three days.

UnityPoint operates hospitals and clinics throughout the state, including St. Luke’s in Sioux City.

A local spokesperson issued this statement:

“Similar to other hospitals, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s has been operating near capacity for the past few weeks. This is in part due to the number of patients that are choosing us for their care, as well as in general the number of patients that need seen due to current illnesses or complications that stem from waiting too long to seek care.

Despite the availability of vaccines and booster doses, the year ahead isn’t shaping up how we imagined. We’ve spent the past two years fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of the pleas we’ve shared sound like a broken record. Our teams face staffing shortages, long hours, a new variant and overwhelming patient volumes, as well as a continual wave of avoidable suffering.

We remain fiercely committed to taking care of the Siouxland community and we hope that the video we shared depicting a series of first-hand accounts from our nurses, doctors, clinicians and care teams will help reignite the urgency to care for healthcare workers once again by getting vaccinated.”

Information from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows a majority of patients in intensive care have not been fully vaccinated.

The statewide vaccination rate for people 18 and older is 70.4%. Those in the same demographic fully vaccinated in Woodbury County is 66.6%. The county with the lowest vaccination rate in Siouxland is Lyon, with 52%. Buena Vista County has the highest vaccination rate in the state, with 80.3%

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.