An Alabama doctor begged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, while sharing grim stories of young, healthy and unvaccinated people dying from the disease.
The sobering message from Dr. Brytney Cobia posted on Facebook on Sunday has been liked and shared thousands of times.
“One of the last things they do before being intubated is begging me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and say I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” she said of her COVID-19 patients.
“A few days later, when I mention the time of death, I hug their relatives and tell them that the best way to honor their loved one is to 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. They thought it was political. They thought they wouldn’t get that sick because they had a certain blood type or skin color. They thought it was ‘just the flu’.”
But they were wrong, she said, and they can’t go back.
“So they thank me and go get the vaccine. And I go back to my office, write their death certificate and say a little prayer that this loss will save more lives,” she wrote.
As the highly contagious delta strain increases across the country, the coronavirus is hitting the unvaccinated population with excessive force. In Alabama, 94% of COVID-19 hospital patients and 96% of Alabamians who have died from COVID-19 since April had not been fully vaccinated, AL.com reports.
Alabama is among the states with the lowest percentage of vaccinated population, with only 34% fully vaccinated.
Cobia, who works at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, told AL.com that the current influx of patients reminds her of last November, just before Alabama’s peak in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
“What we saw in December 2020 and January 2021, that was the absolute peak, the peak of the pandemic, where I was signing 10 death certificates a day,” she said.
Because the vaccine was hesitant, she encouraged people to raise their concerns with their own doctors. She said she often finds that people who have not been vaccinated have not spoken to their doctor, but instead made their decision based on information from other sources.
“And most of them, they’re very honest, they give me answers. “I talked to this person, I saw this on Facebook, I got this email, I saw this on the news,” you know, “these are all reasons why I didn’t get vaccinated,” she said.