Kansas City COVID-19 patients call for vaccination in video message
Two COVID-19 patients at University Health – formerly Truman Medical Center – who have not been vaccinated are begging others not to repeat their mistake after spending Christmas in the hospital.
In video interviews with university health staff, Anita Gardner and Arlene Hines said they wished they had been vaccinated before they became seriously ill with COVID-19.
“I’m telling everyone you might think it’s not a good thing, but it is. It’s a good thing to keep you from getting sick like that, ”Gardner said in tears. “It will make you a world of good. ”
Gardner said she initially avoided getting the vaccine out of fear.
Hines, who is in her 60s, said she simply postponed the vaccine until it was too late and she was sick.
“It just knocked me off,” Hines said. “One day I went to the grocery store, the next day I was in the hospital almost dead.”
COVID-19 hits the United States
The women’s message comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide and in the Kansas City metro area. The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases reached 940 on Tuesday, the highest since January.
Gary Salzman, a pulmonologist at University Health, said most of the hospital’s critically ill patients had not been vaccinated.
“The past two weeks have been terrible, we’ve just been inundated with sick COVID patients,” Salzman said.
Hospitals in the metro area are scrambling to find available beds as they treat patients with COVID-19 and the flu.
Vaccination rates in Kansas and Missouri remain low. According to state health departments, 51% of Kansans and 54% of Missourians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine has spread in recent months, accelerating resistance to the vaccine.
Salzman said those fearful of the vaccine should be more concerned about the impact of COVID-19.
Kansas and Missouri have cleared COVID-19 vaccines for anyone five years of age and older. Details on how and where to get a free COVID-19 vaccine and booster can be found here.