Why won’t people vaccinate? It’s about where they get their information from, says Brytney Cobia, MD, who treats hospitalized Covid patients in Birmingham, Alabama – the state that’s last in the nation in vaccination rate.
Now that that the coronavirus has morphed into a pandemic of the unvaccinated, Cobia asks her patients why on earth they won’t get vaccinated:
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’. [They say] ‘I talked to this person, I saw this thing on Facebook, I got this email, I saw this on the news.’
But Cobia points to the one crucial source of information her patients never turn to – their doctors:
And the one question that I always ask them is, did you make an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask them for their opinion on whether or not you should receive the vaccine? And so far, nobody has answered yes to that question.
And knowing how preventable almost all of this is takes a huge toll on everyone:
It’s really hard because all of us physicians and other medical staff, we’ve been doing this for a long time and all of us are very, at this point, tired and emotionally drained and cynical . . .
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.
And now all you really see is their fear and their regret.