Health Care

Arkansas doctor: Patients have told me they wish they got COVID-19 vaccine

A doctor from Arkansas says COVID-19 patients he cares for have told him they wish they’d received the coronavirus vaccine.

“It is heart-wrenching to see unvaccinated individuals come into the hospital with regret,” said Ryan Dare, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, NBC News reported.

Dare said that patients have told him “if they could do it all over again, would have had the vaccine in a second.”

Arkansas is one of the lowest vaccinated states, with only around 35 percent of individuals fully vaccinated. Due to the low vaccination rate, the state is experiencing some of its highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in months.

Dare said the rise in cases is “nearly 100 percent preventable.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has been encouraging people for weeks to get vaccinated and has attended community events in an effort to boost vaccine numbers.

Another doctor in Missouri, which also has a low vaccination rate, told NBC “it’s just a mess.”

“Everybody in the hospital is doing extra shifts, calling out for other hospitals to help,” Mayrol Juarez, a critical care physician at Mercy Hospital Springfield, said.

“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,” he added.

Juarez says he has patients who come in and are “shocked” the coronavirus is real.

Another family has recently shared their story about their 24-year-old son who needed a double lung transplant after refusing to get the vaccine and contracting the virus. He and his family are urging others to get the vaccine, as he regrets not doing so. 

Tags Asa Hutchinson coronavirus vaccine

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