First lady Jill Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci make vaccination push in Tampa at COVID vaccine event

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – First lady Jill Biden is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Lightning to get more people vaccinated in Tampa Bay.

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined the first lady on her trip. Her visit comes after health officials warn a new variant of the COVID-19 virus showing up in the United States.

The Delta variant is more transmissible and dangerous, which is why AdventHealth officials will be out at Amalie Arena Thursday vaccinating residents.

Doctor’s over at Tampa General Hospital say they are seeing a pattern with those who are still coming in sick with the coronavirus: they are all unvaccinated and younger. The ages of patients range from a pregnant teen a few weeks ago to adults up to 40 years old.

“I’m saddened by it. I was hoping we would get to a point where everyone would be vaccinated, and we would be ok, but clearly, we’re not there yet,” said Dr. Andrew Myers at TGH.

The major concern is that new variants of the disease, like the Delta variant, are showing up in the U.S. and those are more transmissible and severe than what we have seen now.

While the president’s goal to get 70% of American adults vaccinated by July 4 seems to be slipping away, the vaccination event at Amalie Arena with the first lady is a push to get younger adults to get their shot and save lives.

AdventHealth doctors are concerned that the new strains will become more dangerous once fall gets here, the temperatures drop, and people head back indoors.

“Let’s be very clear. The people who are showing up in our emergency departments, being admitted to our hospitals and ICU’s are those without vaccination. The vaccines work. They prevent people from getting sick. They prevent people from going to the hospital, and they prevent from ending up in the ICU and dying,” said Dr. Steve Smith.

The vaccination event Thursday starts at 4:30 p.m. and will go on until 6:30 p.m. You’ll be able to get the shot, meet Thunderbug, and take a shot with a puck on the ice.

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