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Nurses ask Texans to get vaccinated, say they’re overwhelmed as hospital admissions continue to rise

The Texas Nurses Association said nurses can confirm that the majority of COVID-19 patients in hospitals right now are unvaccinated.

AUSTIN, Texas — Hospitals in Texas are facing a nursing shortage, and they’re also nearing capacity as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.

The Texas Nurses Association (TNA) asked the community to get vaccinated and continue wearing a mask in response in a press release Monday. The TNA said it is clear that “most hospitalized patients” are unvaccinated.

Nurses are burned out,” CEO of TNA Cindy Zolnierek said in the release. “ICU units are full. We are all tired of this; nurses are tired of this.”

On top of a third wave of coronavirus patients, nurses are also handling regularly scheduled procedures, unlike in the summer of 2020. TNA nurses also said some are testing positive for the virus even if they’re fully vaccinated.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals rose 142% in the last month. The 7-day moving average of new hospital admissions in Austin-Travis County is 37 as of Monday, July 26, over half of what it was two weeks ago.

“We are asking Texans to do their part to help beat the virus," Zolnierek said in the press release. “If you can get vaccinated, do that as soon as possible. The virus is real. The vaccine is free, safe and effective. Even if you get COVID after the vaccination, the vaccine can help keep you out of the hospital."

The TNA said that is continuing to support mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for people working in health care settings. It is one of over 40 organizations that signed on to the Joint Statement on Health Worker Vaccine Mandates.

TNA nurses are also working on local initiatives to “close the vaccine equity gap and help bring vaccines to marginalized populations,” according to the press release.

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