Doctors from Duke, UNC-REX and WakeMed hospitals all echoed the same three messages on Thursday: get vaccinated, get boosted and avoid emergency rooms if you aren't seriously ill.


Getting vaccinated and boosted is the key to staying out of hospitals or becoming seriously ill from coronavirus, all three physicians urged. At WakeMed and UNC hospitals, 100% of COVID-19 patients on ventilators are unvaccinated, they said.

At all WakeMed hospitals, only 1 in 10 ICU patients are fully vaccinated, and at Duke, all the patients on ECMO, a form of life support used for only the sickest patients, are unvaccinated.