Grieving families of COVID-19 victims are making a personal pitch to others who have not yet received a vaccine to do so before it’s too late.
“I know that if Curt had survived, he would have made sure everyone knew how serious this disease is, and how important the vaccine is,” Christy Carpenter, mother of Curt Carpenter who died in May, told the Montgomery Advertiser. “My daughter and I are now carrying out that mission in his memory.”
Christy Carpenter said she and her son were concerned about side effects from the vaccine before they both fell ill, and that he initially believed it was “a hoax.” She is scheduled to receive her vaccine next week after receiving clearance from her doctor.
A family in Arizona who also cited concerns about the vaccine’s side effects is now mourning the loss of their 47-year-old mother who worked in the health care industry and contracted the virus alongside her 17-year-old son. Fernanda Vega, also a grandmother to 10, went to the emergency room on July 13 where they detected a blood clot in her lung and she died within an hour.
Her widow, Ysmael, told Fox 10 that he will now receive his vaccine.
“With what I have experienced, I don’t want to go through this again,” he told the news outlet. “I do not.”
A doctor in Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey said the blame for a recent COVID-19 surge falls on the “unvaccinated folks,” recently took to Facebook to say that one of the last things a coronavirus patient does before being intubated is beg for the vaccine.
“I’ve made a LOT of progress encouraging people to get vaccinated,” Brytney Cobia posted to Facebook last week. “Do you want to know how? 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.”
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Cobia then 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 said many grieving relatives say they “thought it was a hoax.”
“They thought it was political,” she wrote. “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. 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.”
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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, who has called recent surges “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Thursday that the Delta COVID-19 variant is more “aggressive” than other strains, but that fully vaccinated people are protected from severe illness.