Story at a glance
- An Alabama doctor will no longer see unvaccinated patients in an effort to promote COVID-19 vaccines.
- His policy goes into effect Oct. 1.
- “We do not yet have any great treatments for severe disease, but we do have great prevention with vaccines,” Valentine reportedly wrote in a letter to patients.
An Alabama doctor will no longer see unvaccinated patients in an effort to promote COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Effective Oct. 1, 2021, Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19,” read a sign on Mobile’s Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health Jason Valentine's office door.
The physician said in a Facebook post, which included a photo of the posted sign, that his decision prompted three patients to ask where they could get their vaccine.
“No conspiracy theories, no excuses. Just where do I go,” Valentine wrote. “If they asked why, I told them COVID-19 is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that.”
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Valentine further explained his reasoning in a letter he intends to send to patients, AL.com reported.
“We do not yet have any great treatments for severe disease, but we do have great prevention with vaccines,” Valentine reportedly wrote. “Unfortunately, many have declined to take the vaccine, and some end up severely ill or dead. I cannot and will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but I also cannot continue to watch my patients suffer and die from an eminently preventable disease.”
Valentine reportedly added that patients who wish to continue seeing him may submit proof of vaccination, and the office “will happily transfer” documentation of patients choosing to seek the care of a different physician.
Alabama reported 4,023 new cases and 33 deaths in the past day, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Nearly 36 percent of the state’s population are fully vaccinated with more than 3.8 million doses administered.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced Friday a "narrowly focused state of emergency” to strategically cut “red tape wherever we can to allow our doctors, nurses and hospital staff to treat patients that come through their doors."
"Alabama remains open for business," Ivey said in a statement. "Alabamians do not need government telling us what to do or how to do it. Unlike last year when we were hoping for a miracle, our greatest weapon against covid-19 today is the vaccine, so, if you can, roll up your sleeve and get the shot."
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