AL.COM – Dr. Brytney Cobia said Monday that all but one of her COVID patients in Alabama did not receive the vaccine.
The vaccinated patient, she said, just needed a little oxygen and is expected to fully recover. Some of the others are dying.
Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, wrote in an emotional Facebook post Sunday:
“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.”
Three COVID-19 vaccines have been widely available in Alabama for months now, yet the state is last in the nation in vaccination rate, with only 33.7 percent of the population fully vaccinated.
“I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated.”
COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging yet again due to the more contagious Delta variant of the virus and Alabama’s low vaccination rate.
For the first year and a half of the pandemic, Cobia and hundreds of other Alabama physicians caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients worked themselves to the bone trying to save as many as possible.
Cobia told AL.com this week:
“Back in 2020 and early 2021, when the vaccine wasn’t available, it was just tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. You know, so many people that did all the right things, and yet still came in, and were critically ill and died.”
In the United States, COVID is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, according to the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Alabama, state officials report 94% of COVID hospital patients and 96% of Alabamians who have died of COVID since April were not fully vaccinated.
“A few days later when I call time of death,” continued Cobia on Facebook, “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 … ”