ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the numbers keep rising, leaders at Albuquerque hospitals are renewing their plea to the public to get vaccinated. Officials say hospitals are well beyond capacity, and almost all of the COVID patients they’re seeing are unvaccinated.

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But they say the importance of getting more shots in arms is about protecting everyone going forward, not just the unvaccinated. “It required us to go back to basics, to do the things we know work against this virus and to not give the virus a chance to mutate into yet another variant that could potentially escape these vaccines that we have now,” said Dr. Rohini McKee with the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Doctors say there are some breakthrough cases landing vaccinated people in the hospital, but it’s a small percentage, and usually among those with serious underlying conditions.