CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KSEE) – The Central Valley is a region known for leading in agriculture, promoting diversity and fostering economic growth.
However, when it comes to COVID-19, it continues to be hit the hardest, according to top California health doctor, Dr. Mark Ghaly.
“First off, the Central Valley has one of the lower, if not the lowest vaccine rates in our state, some of the counties are very low so that from the beginning it’s difficult to overcome,” said Ghaly.
With an already stressed and saturated local healthcare system, Ghaly worries our local hospitals could face another burden.
“It’s the situation where we’ve got COVID, we have other health conditions going into the winter months where we normally see respiratory viruses and infections increase, so you kind of have this triple threat on the hospital system,” he says.
Ghaly says the Central Valley needs to get more people vaccinated in a region where vaccine hesitancy is relatively high, to stop the virus from spreading.
“Bottom line is it saves lives, and it protects us from being part of our family, not just during this holiday season, but seasons to come,” says Dr. Ghaly.
As resources become more and more available in the area, Ghaly is hopeful the region will take the necessary steps to fight COVID-19 and its variants.
“I do believe that over time we will really have a breakthrough in hesitancy, not just breakthrough cases in deaths, and people will choose to get vaccinated.”