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Most COVID hospitalizations due to 4 pre-existing conditions, report says

A pharmacist prepares a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination site at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - The Journal of the American Medical Association released a report that most of all hospitalizations from COVID were because of four pre-existing conditions.

“What they found is that people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and hypertension, they're at increased risk for having serious complications and even death,” said Dr. Nina Radcliff to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat Friday morning. “This is not surprising to us. This is exactly what doctors and health experts have been saying from the beginning."

This report puts more of an emphasis on being preventative-minded when it comes to COVID-19, says Dr. Radcliff.

“COVID-19 told our world health is important. And now is the time for people to look at their health, watch what they're eating, be more physically active, take care of their health, see their doctors,” said Dr. Radcliff

A new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in New York, and is now accounting for about 25% of all genomes that are being sequenced, according to Dr. Radcliff. The variant, called B-1526, first surfaced in November 2020.

“It's important to not assume the worst. New variants are not a surprise,” said Dr. Radcliff. “Scientists are keeping a careful eye on this, researchers are running these COVID mutation surveillance programs, and they're monitoring to see are they going to evade our vaccines, are they going to evade the medications that we have to treat them.”

Two months since the first vaccinations against COVID-19 began, Pfizer is looking to create a third dose, to potentially target the new variants emerging in New York, as well as from California, the U.K. and South Africa.

“It's not unlike how we do the flu shot, where we take a flu shot every single year to address the variants or strains that might be circulating,” said Dr. Radcliff. “Researchers are looking at this and we don't know exactly how this will work.”

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is set to be voted on by the Food and Drug Administration Friday, and if authorized, will be available as early as next week, according to Dr. Radcliff. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a single-dose vaccine that showed a 66% efficacy globally against moderate to severe COVID cases. A recent report shows that the new vaccine may also be the first to help stop asymptomatic spread.

Dr. Radcliff says between Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — get the vaccine that is available to you.

“Experts are saying that if a vaccine was available, take it regardless of which one. Take it,” said Dr. Radcliff. “It's better to get vaccinated, than to be hanging in the air.”