Health officials: 'Mass vaccination is our only way out of the pandemic'

Health officials: ’Mass vaccination is our only way out of the pandemic’

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Officials with Advocate Aurora Health provided an updated Thursday, Dec. 10, on the coronavirus in Wisconsin ahead of vaccine distribution and the holiday season. 

Aurora health officials say there are currently 385 patients that are in the hospital right now in Wisconsin because of COVID-19.

"The impact is felt everywhere including our more rural hospitals in Wisconsin. We are also caring for 807 patients through our home care program in which patients are treated by advanced practice and virtual health," said Dr. Gary Stuck, chief medical officer at Advocate Aurora Health.  

Doctors say it has also put a burden on health care workers. 

"Dealing with the stress of stress, feelings of exhaustion with anxiety and depression and in some cases burnout. They've hung in there and I'm impressed with how many of them have done," said Dr. Nkem Iroegu, chief medical advisor at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center. 

Medical experts say there is one solution to the pandemic. 

"Mass vaccination is our only way out of the pandemic,' said Dr. Robert Citronberg. 

Doctors say they hope everyone takes precautions during the holidays. 

"I know this is a hard thing to hear. I know it's been a difficult year for everyone and it's going to be especially difficult for our team members and their families if people gather for the holidays," said Dr. Stuck. 

Aurora health officials say they plan to roll out a vaccine as early as next week, and hope to immunize all of their workers in the next several months. 

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