Westfields Vaccination Dr. Eric Ling

Dr. Eric Ling was among the first Westfields colleagues to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Westfields and Hudson Hospital doctors are advocated for vaccination as hospitalizations increase in middle-aged adults. 

HUDSON -- COVID-19 hospitalizations across HealthPartners have increased by more than 200 percent over the past month, driven largely by middle-aged adults who have not yet been vaccinated, according to a HealthPartners release. 

In April, the average age of hospitalized patients was 57, compared to 65 during the surge in November 2020. More than 90 percent of the care system’s medical and surgical beds are currently occupied. Fortunately, fewer hospitalized patients are requiring ventilators and intensive care, and fewer are dying.

Starting this week, Hudson Hospital & Clinic and Westfields Hospital & Clinic, along with all other HealthPartners vaccination locations, have increased COVID-19 vaccine availability to anyone aged 16 and up, including people who haven’t previously been patients (Moderna vaccinations for 18-plus only available at Hudson and Westfields hospitals).

“Although vaccination is a personal decision, not doing so can still put lives at risk, so I urge everyone in the community to get vaccinated as soon as they get the chance," Dr. Karen Moeller, vice president of medical affairs at Hudson Hospital & Clinic said." 

Steve Massey, president of Westfields Hospital & Clinic, says it was an easy decision for his family to get vaccinated as soon as they were eligible.

“In November, my wife – a Registered Nurse – lost her grandfather within a few days of testing positive for COVID,” Massey said. “Then, we had a scare just last month when her grandmother was hospitalized for COVID, spending several days in an ICU in the Twin Cities. Getting vaccinated meant a lot to both of us. My 21-year­-son works at a nursing home and also decided to get vaccinated as soon as he was able, to help protect the very vulnerable people with whom he works. Our middle son just turned 16 and is set to get vaccinated very soon. Ultimately, we all want to do what we can to protect the ones we love.”

Across Wisconsin, 43.5% of people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine; in St. Croix County, 41.3% of the community have received at least one vaccination.

“Of the patients that we’re currently seeing for COVID-19 care, the vast majority either haven't been vaccinated or haven't been fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Eric Ling, an emergency medicine doctor and the vice president of medical affairs at Westfields Hospital & Clinic.

HealthPartners expects hospital occupancy to remain high with patients experiencing both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 issues in the weeks ahead, and is urging everyone to continue infection prevention measures and get vaccinated wherever they have the opportunity.

Anyone can schedule an appointment online at healthpartners.com/appointment or by calling Hudson Hospital & Clinic directly at 715-531-6700 or Westfields Hospital & Clinic directly at 715-243-3400.

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