As of August 25, a mere 62% of the U.S. population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and only 52% of the population are fully vaccinated. Given that the U.S. has enough vaccine supply to ensure every single eligible person can get vaccinated, those numbers are tragic.
I suppose I get it. The COVID-19 vaccine feels new. It feels rushed and untested. How did they do it so fast? Plenty of people who don’t consider themselves antivaxxers under ordinary circumstances — as in, they have all their other usual recommended vaccines — now find themselves hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
And not everyone has the same access to information or ability to process the information they’re given. Even more likely in today’s climate is that people are simply being fed misinformation. They may be trying to research, but they inadvertently look in the wrong places. Friends with biased political beliefs or suspicious but official-looking websites claim to know “the truth.” These sources say that medical experts and peer-reviewed studies are hiding something — that there is a hidden agenda. That their very freedoms are at stake. Would the politicians you voted for, the ones that run the political party you’ve believed in for so long really manipulate statistics and lie to you?
Most have heard the news about Dr. Brytney Cobia in Alabama who told spoke out about how young, healthy patients infected with COVID-19 who would beg for the vaccine prior to being intubated. “I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” she would tell them as she held their hand.
And now, more and more, folks who refused to be vaccinated are speaking out about how they wish they had gotten vaccinated — and they’re doing so from their hospital beds.
Shannon says she was against the vaccine, scared of it. She has O-negative blood type and believed misinformation that told her this would protect her against severe COVID-19 infection. She says the nurse told her that last year they only had two patients in the hospital with COVID, and now they have 102. “I wish I got the vaccine,” she says, struggling to breathe as she speaks. “I wish I wasn’t anti-vaccine.”
Lindsey posted to her TikTok from her hospital bed. “I’m on … this is an extreme oxygen. I’m on a high dose of oxygen.” She says she has a lot of mucus in her chest, and that if anyone watching would like to help, all donations would go to her kids who were starting school that week. She posted again later to answer the question everyone had:
“To answer 9 million of your questions,” she says, “no, I wasn’t vaccinated. Yes, I wish I would’ve got vaccinated.”
Carrie also posted from her hospital bed, in Maitland, Florida. “My name is Carrie,” she says. “I’m 36. I never really post TikToks. … I have coronavirus. It really sucks. I’ve got pneumonia.” She doesn’t say in the video that she hasn’t been vaccinated, but her sister commented several times to confirm that she was not. Carrie posted again two more times, miserable, wishing she could go home. She had to stop posting though, because, according to a GoFundMe set up to help out with her medical expenses, she had to be intubated and put into a medically induced coma. Comments on her last video indicate she was eventually taken off the ventilator and is currently recovering.
“I’m in here with some new stuff,” Letitia says in her TikTok video. “Diagnosis: acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 and bilateral pneumonia, extensive damage due to COVID-19.” She says she was in the ICU for six days and in the hospital for 20. Thankfully she did not have to be put on a vent. “I’m also leaving with this cute little oxygen tank,” she says, trying to make light of a horrific situation. Letitia tells stories of young, healthy people being put on vents and dying. “Actually,” she says, “everyone here who’s sick hasn’t had the vaccine. And I’m one of the dumbasses who believed all the media-news bullshit out there about ‘government control.’”
And then there’s Dr. John D, a surgeon according to his profile, who starts off by saying he could spout off all the medical stats for why the vaccines are safe, but chooses a different tact, and we don’t need confirmation that he’s a surgeon to verify what he says. He lists all of the experts and politicians who are vaccinated — people whose choice to vaccinate ought to give vaccine hesitant folks some reassurance. “I can tell you that 95% of U.S. physicians are vaccinated.” (That number is now 96%.) “100% of living U.S. presidents are vaccinated.” Yes, including Trump, who was one of the first to get vaccinated.
“Nearly 100% of U.S. senators are vaccinated,” Dr. D. continues. “100% of republican governors and 100% of democratic governors are fully vaccinated. The guy that people keep citing as the inventor of MRNA technology who was suspicious of the vaccine … is fully vaccinated.”
Dr. D goes on to ask, “So who isn’t vaccinated? Well, for starters, over 95% of the people who were admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms or have died from COVID last month. They weren’t vaccinated.”
Pfizer has full FDA approval. If you have been hesitant about getting your vaccine, please watch these videos. Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones and your community. Protect those who may need emergency care by keeping yourself from taking up a much-needed ICU bed. Get vaccinated.