ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing in the Southland, and the Delta variant makes up more than 80 percent of the new cases across the country.
At Providence Saint Joseph Hospital in Orange, at least one unvaccinated COVID patient says he's still not convinced that the vaccines are safe. Staff at the hospital say the man nearly died from the virus and is in the intensive care unit.
"This may become eventually an endemic where it's there, and you get COVID, and you get a cold and you get better, but we're not there yet. Until we get a high number of people vaccinated, we're not going to be there yet, especially with the Delta variant and other variants that may come around," said Dr. Amir Ghiassi, pulmonologist at Providence St. Joseph Hospital
Health officials say the vaccine shot prevents people from getting seriously sick and dying from COVID-19. They are concerned about the surge of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Officials urge those who can get the vaccine to take it.