Alabama doctor tells unvaccinated COVID patients begging for vaccine: 'It's too late'

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WSLS 10 25 July, 2021 - 03:36pm 33 views

'It's too late': Alabama doctor shares final moments of Covid patients, urges vaccination

NBC News 21 July, 2021 - 08:01pm

Dr. Brytney Cobia’s impassioned and sobering Facebook post from Sunday has been widely circulated on social media. The Birmingham physician said people are listening to her first-hand accounts of treating critical patients who regret never getting inoculated.

“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," she wrote.

"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.”

Cobia’s post was shared about 4,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

She also wrote in the post about difficult interactions with people who have lost loved ones to the deadly disease.

“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. And I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives.”

Cobia declined a request for an interview on Wednesday, telling NBC News via text that she’s been receiving “threatening messages.”

“I’m a little (ie a lot) overwhelmed and I just need to step back right now,” Cobia said.

Cobia told AL.com that treating patients with coronavirus, even those who chose to not get a vaccine, tugs at her heart strings.

“You kind of go into it thinking, ‘Okay, I’m not going to feel bad for this person, because they make their own choice,’” Cobia said.

“But then you actually see them, you see them face to face, and 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,” she told the news outlet.

Alabama has the lowest-vaccination rates in the country. Only 38 percent of the state’s population has gotten at least one vaccine dose and just 31 percent are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, according to state statistics. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Alabama has increased by 694, an uptick of 573 percent.

But Alabama is far from alone. States in the South — including Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee — have re-emerged as Covid hot spots. The worrying increases are driven largely by the highly contagious delta variant and vaccine hesitancy, public health officials have said.

Studies have show that the Covid-19 vaccines are effective against multiple variants, including the delta variant. A recent report from Public Health England, where the variant accounts for more than 90 percent of new cases, found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are 96 percent effective against hospitalization.

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

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In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared for packaging at the company’s facility in Puurs, Belgium. Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday, July 8, 2021, that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. (Pfizer via AP)

(NEXSTAR) — An Alabama doctor revealed in a social media post over the weekend that one of the last things she has to do before having to intubate her patients who are gravely ill with COVID-19 is often to explain why they can no longer take a vaccine.

Dr. Brytney Cobia, a physician at Grandview Medical Center, says that with the spread of the delta variant she has been admitting “young healthy people” lately with very serious COVID infections.

“One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine,” Cobia wrote. “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.”

In the post, which has nearly 2,000 likes and has been shared nearly 4,000 times, Cobia said she hopes her words continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Cobia added that the patients and their families often try to explain the different reasons for not getting the vaccine:

“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,” Cobia said.

Cobia told AL.com that despite having an effective vaccine readily available to all, it’s still hard not to sympathize with her patients who actively left themselves defenseless against a deadly virus.

“You kind of go into it thinking, ‘Okay, I’m not going to feel bad for this person, because they make their own choice,’” Cobia said. “But then you actually see them, you see them face to face, and 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.”

When it comes to the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Alabama is tied with Mississippi for the lowest vaccination rate – 34 percent – according to Johns Hopkins data.

With the spread of the Delta variant, which health officials say is affecting younger people worse than other variants, politicians, doctors and celebrities are continuing to urge those who have not gotten vaccinated to do so.

As the Delta virus spreads rapidly across the U.S., nearly all of the people who are now being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated, according to Associated Press analysis of public data.

Cobia’s heartbreaking post was a reply to another Alabama physician, Dr. David B. Wilhem, who urged people to get vaccinated, saying, “I will repeat my statement from last week: If you haven’t had Covid and are unvaccinated, there is a significant likelihood you’ll get Delta variant Covid in the next 60-90 days.”

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TAMPA (WFLA) -  Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, according to a tweet she made on Wednesday evening.

In the tweet, Moody said her symptoms are mild and her family is in good health. Moody said she is vaccinated in her tweet.

The Seattle Kraken selected Yanni Gourde during the expansion draft.

Sin embargo, pese a las críticas de autoridades locales, Desantis no declaró estado de emergencia: "Ellos fueron quienes dijeron que teníamos que declarar estado de emergencia. Entonces nosotros les preguntamos por qué, pero no lo sabían. Era solo un tema político. El hecho es que tenemos el presupuesto… tenemos el dinero", Afirmó.

Covid in Scotland: Are young people slowing the vaccine drive?

BBC News 21 July, 2021 - 09:17am

Looking at a snapshot of current vaccination levels, it is true that younger people seem to be the last group still waiting to be jabbed.

But then they were also the last to be offered them. And there is little to suggest that, for example, people aged 20 have in general been any slower to come forward than those aged 30 or 40.

Initial take-up when the programme moves into a new age group is usually pretty fast. The lines on the graph are markedly similar - a steep rise, followed by a fairly sudden plateau.

The immediate take-up rate of the vaccine among younger people has been similar to that of older demographics. The difference has been that groups in the under-50 cohort have started to plateau at lower levels.

For example, about 95% of the 55 to 59-year-old cohort had been given a first jab before the take-up rate began to level off. In 50-54s it was about 90%.

In 40 to 49-year-olds the graph began to level off at 85%, and in 30 to 39-year olds it was at 75%. Each group has since added another five percentage points to its total, so progress is still ticking along - just more slowly.

We have not yet seen where the 18 to 29-year-old group will level off, but uptake already seems to be slowing - it has taken two weeks to go from 60% to 70%, having gone from 40% to 60% in the fortnight before that.

From these figures, it would appear that the change has not occurred since vaccination of the youngest age bracket began - it is the continuation of a trend which started as soon as the JCVI priority groups of those over 50 were complete.

That is also the point at which many older people started getting second doses - more of which have been given out than first doses on almost every day since.

A number of reasons have been offered.

Young people have been told throughout the pandemic that they are less likely to fall seriously ill or die from Covid-19. They are not invincible - there are plenty who have been hit hard by the symptoms of the virus or who continue to struggle with long Covid.

But they have not been in the position of older demographics where the pandemic has been a personal matter of life and death.

Darren Pake, 25, from Dundee, told BBC Scotland's The Nine programme that it should be a choice whether people get the jab or not.

He said: "I was always very on the fence but more leaning towards not wanting it because I didn't feel like I was particularly at risk. The big threat that was always lurking was vaccine passports as a new normal, that never really sat right with me."

There is also an element of distrust in politicians. Bobby Douglas, 18, also from Dundee, said he had not gone for a jab as a "protest" against the government for not lifting restrictions more quickly.

He said: "If we do get it, restrictions aren't going to end tomorrow or soon - even if Scotland moved past level zero on 9 August, there's always that possibility that restrictions might be brought back in.

"What is the point in the vaccine if restrictions are going to be brought back?"

Others have voiced concerns about the vaccines themselves. Simone Pearson, 48, from Edinburgh, said she "desperately" wanted a jab but did not want the Oxford-AstraZeneca after it was linked to rare blood clots.

She said: "I have visited numerous vaccination hubs to be told that I don't have a choice, even although they have other vaccines there."

Ms Pearson thinks it is "down to luck" what you are offered.

She explained: "I've had friends at work in the over 40's age category who received the Moderna vaccine. It seems likely it is more of what's available on the day. At least two friends of mine in their 40's have now received Moderna, and I feel like I'm having to tour the country to try and get something that isn't AstraZeneca."

The virus itself may be one of the stumbling blocks to younger people attending their vaccine appointments.

Scotland started vaccinating the 18 to 29-year-old group in earnest around the start of June.

This was also roughly the time that Scotland's case numbers began to climb the crest of the third wave. There have been almost 100,000 new cases since, and these were disproportionately among younger people.

People are not meant to have the vaccine for 28 days after developing symptoms or testing positive, and others may also have missed appointments when self-isolating.

There may also be non-virus factors involved - those aged 25-50 are significantly more likely to be in work than other cohorts and to have other commitments, for example with young families.

The Scottish government has insisted that the vaccine drive is proceeding well, and that there are only a few groups left to "chip away" at.

Nicola Sturgeon has issued a plea for younger people to keep getting vaccinated, asking families to encourage young relatives to take part.

The government has put out adverts across television and social media platforms aimed at younger people, including a range of Facebook and Instagram ads shown only to people under 35.

Health boards have also opened drop-in centres and mobile clinics to make it easier for people to get vaccinated in a time and place that works for them.

The first minister said: "We are exploring all possible methods of making vaccines as accessible as possible, but also ways in which we can address any of the other reasons why people might be reluctant to come forward.

"Ultimately vaccine is not compulsory - that means people do have the right to decide not to get vaccinated. But I would really urge people not to exercise that right, but to exercise the right to protect themselves and others as much as possible from Covid."

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