While Miami’s Jackson Health System, the state’s biggest public hospital, has reported a jump in hospitalizations to 171, they are nowhere near last summer’s peak of 485. But doctors said they are increasingly concerned about how many more younger people are arriving with serious Covid symptoms. Dr. Lilian M. Abbo, Jackson’s head of infectious diseases, said she worried some of those patients would eventually require lung transplants.
Mayor Lenny Curry of Jacksonville, a Republican, held a virtual news conference with hospital administrators on Wednesday to implore unvaccinated people to get a shot. The administrators also urged mask use, social distancing and hand washing, though Mr. Curry made clear he would adopt no citywide policies to promote those behaviors.
“The math is clear: Vaccines work,” he said. “Restrictions to our economy and personal freedoms are not the answer. The answer is getting vaccinated.”
Asked if the city planned any new drives or other steps to get more people vaccinated, Mr. Curry said no, at least not yet.
“It’s a process that takes time,” he said of persuading people to trust the vaccines. “There’s been misinformation and misunderstanding.”
Dr. Ragu Murthy, a cardiologist at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside hospital in Jacksonville, said he asks every patient if they have been vaccinated, because many of them with serious heart conditions would be at high risk if they contract Covid.
“Initially, I think I was pretty successful in convincing a lot of patients,” he said. “Lately, unfortunately, it’s the people who are very resistant. I still make an attempt, because in my mind, I feel like this is the most important thing to talk to them about — even more important than their cardiology care.”