Whilst COVID-19 deaths soar in the USA amongst unvaccinated people, doctors have been pleading with people to get their vaccines.
Dr Brytney Cobia, a doctor based in Alabama, made a heartfelt Facebook post this week – sharing the potentially life-saving importance of getting the COVID-19 jab when offered.
“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.
“A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same. They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax.”
On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, who for much of the coronavirus pandemic resisted public-health measures, criticized her state’s unvaccinated population.
“I don’t know, you tell me,” she said when asked what it would take to get more people vaccinated. “Folks supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”
Alabama has the fourth-lowest vaccination rate nationwide, according to a New York Times tracker.
Dr Cobia’s post attracted a lot of attention, with many praising her candid approach to sharing the lessons she’s learnt working as a doctor in the pandemic. However, others trolled her with insults and death theats – meaning she is now uncomfortable with giving any interviews to the media – reported an NBC reporter who tried to get in touch with Dr Cobia.
Hateful messaging were even posted on the reviews section of Dr Cobia’s Web MD page.
Dr Catherine O’Neal – a doctor in Louisiana – echoed Dr Cobia’s message in a news conference on 16 July: “I want to be clear after seeing what I’ve seen the past two weeks. We only have two choices: we are either going to get vaccinated and end the pandemic. Or we are going to accept death.”
A number of people on Twitter replied to the video of Dr O’Neal’s pleas, slamming it as “propaganda,” and that the Delta variant was “released” in order to re-up fear of COVID-19.
Currently, 40% of COVID-19 cases in the USA are in just three states – Texas, Florida and Missouri – with low rates of vaccinations, with1 in 5 cases in Florida alone.
Now, as the cases of COVID rise at an alarming rate – with 63,818 new cases recorded in the USA on July 22 – previously vaccine-hesitant Republican senators are urging people to get their jabs.