The pandemic is far from over. Across the country, hospitals are filling up again, but not without a common trend. With more than 90% of COVID-19 related deaths amongst unvaccinated people, unvaccinated individuals are making up the majority of patients in hospitals. While some are begging for vaccines when it’s too late, others still refuse to despite getting COVID-19 and recovering.
Misinformation about the vaccine and conspiracy theories are running so deep that despite barely surviving the coronavirus, some people believe the vaccine holds a greater threat. These people in hospitals waiting to be discharged not only are putting their own lives constantly in danger but that of others as they spread their misinformation too.
“Here I am recovering getting out of here finally tomorrow… am I gonna get a vaccine? No, because there’s too many issues with these vaccines,” Scott Rowe, a man who was hospitalized after getting COVID-19 told CBS News.
When asked if he would have taken the vaccine prior to being infected if he could to avoid his situation, Roe said no. “Don’t shove it down my throat,” Rowe said, speaking of the vaccine. “That’s what local, state, and federal administration was trying to do.”
“What are they shoving, the science?” the reporter asked.
“No, they’re shoving the fact that it’s their agenda!” he replied. “Their agenda is to get you vaccinated.”
But Rowe isn’t alone. Many others nationwide share the same sentiments about the vaccine. Myths of how the vaccine was made and not needing to be vaccinated because of already having COVID-19 are included in the long list of false information being spread on and offline. The truth is just because you have already been infected by COVID-19 does not give you immunity from getting it again. Other myths include the vaccine hurting one’s fertility, a myth that has no evidence and has been debunked by multiple doctors.
“None of our ICU patients has been vaccinated,” Dr. Ken Lyn-Kew, a pulmonologist in the critical care department at Denver’s National Jewish Health told NBC News. While the CDC recommends people get vaccinated despite whether or not they have previously been infected by coronavirus, Lyn-Kew told NBC News that many patients opt not to be vaccinated because of previous illness, whether or not they were ever tested for COVID-19 “They thought they were sick from COVID but they weren’t. And they have the mindset of, ‘Oh, I don’t need to get vaccinated because of that,'” Lyn-Kew said. “They’re gravely mistaken.”
GOP officials and Republicans haven’t done much to combat these issues. Despite calls for individuals and officials to combat the spread of misinformation and encourage vaccines, many Republican officials have instead encouraged and spread the very conspiracy theories that have led to an increase in infection nationwide.
Additionally, data has found that while Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have a 100% vaccination rate against COVID-19, Republicans in the House and Senate do not. For Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members are vaccinated and at least 92% of senators are, CNN reported.
Many Republicans have reinforced the myths associated with the vaccine including fears of not knowing the side effects and claims that they do not have any benefit or provide any protection from coronavirus infection.
According to CNN, both clinical trial and real-life data find that mRNA vaccines are more than 95% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalizations, and death.
As multiple variants spread nationwide, being vaccinated now is more important than ever. According to CNN, as of mid-July, less than 60% of eligible Americans ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated. More than 97% of people now entering the hospital with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated, this includes children and young adults, many of which were previously considered healthy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccines helped plummet the more than 125,000 average number of COVID-19 patients that were coming in early January to just over 15,000 on average this week.
Breakthrough infections are not what is driving this current surge—unvaccinated people are. It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated and data backs up that the overwhelming majority of sick patients in recent months have not been vaccinated. Yes, breakthrough infections occur in those who are vaccinated but they are rare. Additionally, studies have found that when they do occur, the person is less likely to be fully vaccinated or is immunocompromised in a way that the vaccine did not take full effect.
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