Scott Roe, a small business owner, contracted pneumonia due to COVID-19 and his health rapidly deteriorated, leaving him hospitalized.
He will soon be discharged but is unvaccinated, and says his battle with the virus does not change his mind on the vaccine, according to CBS News.
Louisiana is among the states with the worst vaccination rate, having only 40 percent of residents at least partially vaccinated
The report comes as the U.S. sits on a stockpile of vaccines with little demand for them among the unvaccinated, with the Indian ‘Delta’ variant also sweeping through the nation.
Scott Roe, a small business owner from Louisiana, was recently hospitalized due to COVID-19. He told CBS that his experience has not changed his stance against the vaccines
‘Here I am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. Am I going to get a vaccine? No,’ Roe told CBS News from his hospital bed.
‘Because there’s too many issues with these vaccines.’
Roe did not mention what specific issues he has with the vaccines.
The three COVID-19 vaccines given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and & Johnson vaccines – are all deemed safe and effective in combatting the virus and its spread.
When a reporter asked Roe if he would be willing to go back in time to get the vaccine – preventing his hospital visit – he also said no.
In Louisiana, cases have increased from 619 to 2,006, a 224% spike from two weeks ago
Hospitalizations have risen to 844, which is the highest level seen since February
‘Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s what local, state, federal administration is trying to do – shove it down your throat,’ Roe said.
‘They’re shoving the fact that that’s their agenda…their agenda is to get you vaccinated.’
The state of Louisiana has had trouble getting its residents vaccinated.
Only 40 percent of residents of the state have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the lowest total of every state other than Mississippi (38 percent).
Coronavirus cases in the state are also trending in the wrong direction, rising 224 percent in the past two weeks from 619 per day on July 7 to 2,006 per day on July 21.
Hospitalizations are also at their highest since February, with 844 people currently in the hospital with the virus.
Around 70 percent of active cases in the state are of the Delta variant, a highly contagious strain that originated in India.
Those choosing not to get vaccinated are more likely to be conservative, with their being a clear correlation between support for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election and a lower vaccination rate.
Many Republican political leaders are urging for their constituents to get vaccinated, though.
Trump and members of his family have made it known that they are vaccinated, with the former President even encouraging supporters to get the shots.
Rep Steve Scalise, a prominent Republican congressman who represents Louisiana, encouraged his constituents to get vaccinated earlier this week
Rep Steve Scalise, one of the most prominent Republicans in Congress who represents Louisiana’s 1st district, received the first shot of his COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week.
‘Especially with the Delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it,’ Scalise told NOLA.com.
‘When you talk to people who run hospitals, in New Orleans or other states, 90 percent of people in hospital with delta variant have not been vaccinated. That’s another signal the vaccine works.’
Roe said he was aware of Rep Scalise, but denied that the vaccines are proven effective, and said his opinion is unchanged.
Medical professionals are advising Louisianan’s to get the shots as well, as a vast majority of people being admitted into the hospital with the virus are unvaccinated.
‘I want to be clear after seeing what I’ve seen the past two weeks. We only have two choices: we are either going to get vaccinated and end the pandemic. Or we are going to accept death.’ said Dr Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, during a press conference Friday per a report from The Advocate.
‘A lot of it, this surge, and another surge, and possibly another variant.’
In nearby Alabama, COVID-19 cases are also rising. The average number of cases have increased to 1,116, a 282% jump from the 472 cases reported two weeks ago, a DailyMail.com analysis found.
Additionally, hospitalizations has more than doubled from 256 to 602 in the last two weeks, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Doctors say that the majority of patients they are seeing are younger.
The U.S. recorded 52,032 new cases on Wednesday with a seven-day rolling average of 39,939, which is a 268% increase from the 10,834 average recorded three weeks ago
Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 333 recorded on Wednesday and a seven-day rolling average of 264, 10% up from the average of 238 recorded three weeks prior
In Alabama, cases have increased to 1,116, a 136% jump from the 472 cases reported two weeks ago
Hospitalizations has more than doubled from 256 to 602 in the last two weeks
‘We do know that in our ICUs, we are seeing younger people intubated who are very sick or who are on the floors and are very sick,’ Dr Jeanne Marrazzo, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN.
‘That should be a gigantic wake-up call.’
Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with just 41 percent receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, CDC data show.
Dr Brtyney Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday that many young healthy patients are being admitted to her hospital too, seriously ill and regretful of not being vaccinated.
‘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.’
She told AL.com that of the patients she is treating right now, all but one did not get the vaccine. The vaccinated patient just needed oxygen therapy and is expected to make a full recovery but the future is unclear for her unvaccinated patients.
‘We are always looking at the data as the data come in. Our guidance has been clear since we put it out several months ago and that is if you are unvaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and protect yourself and those around you,’ said CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky at a press briefing on Thursday.
‘We have always said that local communities have to look at what is going on locally. In areas that have a high amount of disease and low amounts of vaccination…if you’re vaccinated, you have exceptional levels of protection from that vaccine and you may choose to add an extra level of protection by putting on your mask and that is an individual choice.’
Cases are trending the wrong direction across the nation, with the U.S. recording 52,032 new cases on Wednesday with a seven-day rolling average of 39,939, which is a 268 percent increase from the 10,834 average recorded three weeks ago.
COVID-19 restrictions are even returning in some places as the situation in the United States worsens.
Los Angeles, the second most populated city in the nation, brought back its mask mandate for all people – vaccinated or not – earlier this week.
Philadelphia may be next, as city health officials are recommending that people mask back up no matter their vaccination status.