Coronavirus vaccine hesitant turn to advocates in US, Britain and Canada


A patient in the covid-19 intensive care unit at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro, Ark., August 4. (Houston Cofield / Bloomberg News)

LONDON – The fit and healthy bodybuilder in England. The nun of Canada. A conservative talk radio host in Tennessee.

All have chosen not to be vaccinated against coronavirus, although living in countries where doses are abundant. But after contracting the disease and becoming seriously ill, they have since expressed a deep sense of regret and urged others not to make the same mistakes they made – some just days before they died.

John Eyers, originally from the seaside town of Southport in England, loved hiking, camping and running. The 42-year-old has taken part in Ironman challenges, triathlons and bodybuilding competitions. Four weeks before Eders died from the coronavirus in hospital, he had posed for photographs published on Facebook standing on top of the Welsh mountains.

Her twin sister, Jenny McCann, wrote the Twitter this week he was the “fittest, healthiest” person she knew, but explained that he had a “belief in his own immortality.”

She said the hospital did everything to save him, but he died from infection and organ failure.

Eyers, who was put on a ventilator, told a nurse shortly before his death that he “wishes he had been vaccinated,” McCann said.

These stories provide a window into the dynamic behind the global inequality in vaccine distribution. Eders’ story has attracted attention in the UK, where some 88 percent of people over the age of 18 have received at least one injection, but authorities are considering how to convince part of the younger population to be vaccinated, especially as childhood vaccination is proving highly controversial .

The United States, where some 58 percent of the total population received at least one dose, and Canada, where 70 percent have, face similar problems even as parts of Africa and much of Asia struggle to secure vaccine supplies.

In Canada, Katharina Giesbrecht, 33, who follows the Mennonite faith, believed that she did not need to be vaccinated because God would protect her from the virus. “He knows what the next step is whether we die or not,” she said. Recount CBC News in Canada.

Giesbrecht, who lives alone in the province of Manitoba, said she contracted the disease in May, despite wearing protective gear when leaving home. She said she feared she would die as her breathing worsened, eventually ending up in the hospital with pneumonia. Now Giesbrecht says she has since booked her vaccine and wants to encourage others who are religious and are reluctant to receive their doses as well.

“God gave us doctors for a reason and medicines that we can use to help us feel better,” Giesbrecht said. Officials at the hospital at Boundary Trails Health Center, about 100 kilometers southwest of Winnipeg, where Giesbrecht received treatment, told CBS in June that almost all patients admitted with covid-19 did not have been vaccinated.

“I should have been vaccinated,” Micheal Freedy, 39, of Las Vegas, wrote to his fiancee, Jessica DuPreez, shortly before his death from the coronavirus, who placed him in an intensive care unit on last month.

Freedy was not opposed to the vaccination, DuPreez told the Washington Post this week. But like many Americans who have yet to receive their vaccines, the father of five wanted to wait and learn more about how people react to the vaccine before receiving his dose.

“I would react badly to the vaccine rather than having to bury my husband. I would take that any day, ”Freedy’s fiancee, who is now an avid campaigner for people to get vaccinated, told CNN.

Elsewhere in Tennessee, a conservative talk radio host Philippe Valentin, who publicly espoused his vaccine skepticism was hospitalized with the virus last month and his family said he was in critical condition, requiring treatment on an ECMO machine – a last resort for covid patients -19 whose oxygen levels remain low even on ventilators.

“Phil would like his listeners to know that although he was never an ‘anti-vaccine’, he regrets not being more vehement ‘Pro-Vaccine’ and looks forward to being able to defend this position more vigorously upon his return. . on the air, which we are all hoping for soon “, Phil’s brother Mark Valentine wrote on Facebook, urging the public to get vaccinated.

Only about 39% of Tennessee’s population is fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the country, according to a Washington Post tracker.

A Tennessee lawmaker, State Representative David Byrd (R), had a similar conversion experience. He went from participating to unmasked gatherings to be placed on a ventilator for 55 days. After a heart-wrenching eight-month battle with covid, he is now urging his constituents and other Americans to take the virus more seriously.

“It’s a disease that wants to kill us,” Byrd said in a statement. “This is not a question that should divide us.”

An increase in coronavirus cases in the United States due to the more transmissible delta variant has also caused a wave of impatience and even rage from Americans who got vaccinated months ago, towards those whose resistance will not budge. States are reimplementing mask requirements, businesses are delaying their returns to the office, and support is building for more coercive means to curb the spread of the virus, including vaccination warrants.

A poll this week found that just over half of unvaccinated adults (53%) said they thought getting the vaccine posed a greater risk to their health than being infected with the coronavirus, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted Wednesday.

U.S. officials said cases were increasing mainly in unvaccinated populations.

In Italy, nearly 99% of people who have died from covid-19 since February were not fully vaccinated, according to the country’s National Institute of Health noted Last week. The data found that the few fully vaccinated people who died from the coronavirus were significantly older than those who died without receiving a full vaccination and had more underlying health issues before contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, UK Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance noted at the end of last month, 60% of people admitted to UK hospitals with the coronavirus were unvaccinated.

According to the health ministry, the covid death rate of unvaccinated people in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta was also found to be more than three times that of those who were. published data Thursday.

In Israel, where over 60 percent of people have received at least one dose, there is a noisy minority of so-called “refuseniks,” especially among the ultra-Orthodox community who shun modern society.

Although more 4.36 billion doses of vaccines have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data, a research organization, 1.1 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose, highlighting the deep socio-economic divisions that persist in this pandemic.

But the stories of – and about – ex-vaccine resistant may have the potential to convince others.

Chris Downham, a friend of Ayers from England, wrote on Facebook: “I was about to get the vaccine, I thought I would wait about a year after all, I never got sick and never would. surely no problem even if i caught COVID. I even posted on Facebook with that kind of feeling.

“How wrong I was,” he continued. “I played hockey with John Eyers and still can’t believe the fittest guy I know has died from COVID. I expect him to do things differently if given the chance.

Read more:

Alabama mother who lost her son to covid says not getting the vaccine is her biggest regret

Vaccination tracking, state by state

What we know about the delta-plus variant



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