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It’s too late.
That’s what Alabama Dr. Brytney Cobia tells unvaccinated COVID-19 patients moments before they’re intubated: “One of the last things they do … is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” writes AL.com.
For Cobia, caring for a patient who “could have prevented their disease but chose not to” is a different game, “mentally and emotionally.” When she actually meets infected, unvaccinated patients “face to face,” “it really changes your whole perspective, because they’re still just a person that thinks that they made the best decision that they could with the information that they have, and all the misinformation that’s out there.” And when she leaves their room, all she sees is a person that is “so regretful for the choice that they made,” per AL.com.
Cobia says she always asks if unprotected patients — who were perhaps influenced by something on Facebook, or the news — have made an appointment to discuss the vaccine with their primary care doctor. “And so far, nobody has answered yes to that question.”
Later, if the patient passes, Cobia tells their distraught families that the best way to honor their loved one is to get the shot. Afterwards, “I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives.”
Alabama’s vaccination rate is the lowest in the nation — only 33.7 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, notes AL.com. State officials report 96 percent of COVID-19 deaths since April were among those who were not fully vaccinated. Read more at AL.com.