Missouri doctor says patients getting vaccinated in secret due to backlash

A Missouri doctor says patients are asking to keep their vaccination a secret due to fear of backlash from people they know.

The chief medical information officer at Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Priscilla Frase, said in a video produced by the hospital that a pharmacist told her about encounters with individuals who were afraid others would discover they got the vaccine.

"They've had several people come in to get vaccinated who have tried to sort of disguise their appearance and even went so far as to say, 'please, please, please don't let anybody know that I got this vaccine,’ ” Frase stated.

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“They are very concerned about how the people that they love, within their family and within their friendship circles and work circles, are going to react if they find out they got the vaccine,” she added.

Missouri only has 41 percent of its population fully vaccinated as it struggles to contain the delta variant, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

"They've had some experience that's sort of changed their mind from the viewpoint of those in their family, those in their friendship circles or their work circles. And they came to their own decision that they wanted to get a vaccine," Frase said.

"But even though they were able to make that decision themselves, they didn't want to have to deal with the peer pressure or the outbursts from other people about them ... 'giving in to everything,’ ” she said.

She said the doctors are willing to work with patients who want to keep their vaccination a secret and will make “alternative arrangements” if needed for appointments.

Frase told CNN her hospital has 33 coronavirus patients as of Wednesday, with mostly younger and unvaccinated individuals receiving treatment. 

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"The patients that are coming in are generally younger than what we saw before. It's more people requiring a lot more oxygen, a lot quicker," Frase said.

Another Missouri doctor said two weeks ago that his hospital was receiving an influx of patients who regret not getting the vaccine.

"A comment they make all the time is that they wish that they knew they were going to end up in the hospital this sick and they would have made a different choice and got the vaccine," Mayrol Juarez, a critical care physician at Mercy Hospital Springfield, said.