Dr. Brytney Cobia says she hopes to send a message that young and healthy people who forgo the vaccine can face serious consequences from COVID-19.
The video above is from June 13, 2021.
An Alabama doctor’s Facebook post — telling a heart wrenching story about how some of her COVID-19 patients “beg” for the vaccine after they are about to be intubated for the disease and, in some cases die — has gone viral. Her hope is to spread the message that even those who are among the lower-risk groups for COVID-19 and are unvaccinated can be infected with serious consequences.
Dr. Brytney Cobia’s post has now been shared by thousands since Sunday. She indicates that what she’s had to tell families of the victims is helping make progress with getting people vaccinated.
“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” Cobia said. “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.”
Cobia went on to write what happens days later after one of those patients dies.
“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,” Cobia wrote. “They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was ‘just the flu’. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t. So they thank me and they go get the vaccine.”
Cobia wrote that after filling out the death notice, she says a prayer that the one loss will save more lives.
According to AL.com, Cobia said all but one of her COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. The one who got the vaccine needed a little oxygen and is expected to fully recover.
A comparison of U.S. Census data and information from Alabama Public Health shows about 31% of Alabamians have been fully vaccinated. That’s below the national average of 48.8%.
COVID-19 cases tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals and exhausting doctors.
Across the U.S., the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Health officials blame the delta variant and slowing vaccination rates.
“Our staff, they are frustrated,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, a Florida hospital that is canceling elective surgeries and procedures after the number of mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 inpatients at its two campuses jumped to 134, up from a low of 16 in mid-May.
“They are tired. They are thinking this is déjà vu all over again, and there is some anger because we know that this is a largely preventable situation, and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.