COVID-19 patients in ICUs at a Florida hospital are 'begging' to be vaccinated, nurse says

·2 min read
COVID-19 patients in ICUs at a Florida hospital are 'begging' to be vaccinated, nurse says
Florida nurse speaks to CNN
The unnamed nurse, who works at the Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, said that patients are desperate to be vaccinated. CNN Health
  • Patients in ICUs at a Florida hospital are "begging" to be vaccinated, a nurse told CNN.

  • Almost all of the patients in ICUs at the hospital have not yet received a shot, CNN reported.

  • The nurse often has to remind patients that the right time to get vaccinated is before getting sick, she said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) with COVID-19 at a Florida hospital are "begging" to be vaccinated, a nurse told CNN.

The unnamed nurse, who works at the Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, said that patients, the overwhelming majority of whom are unvaccinated, are "at a loss" for what they can do to stay alive.

"Every single day... you're getting ready to intubate the patient in ICU, which means putting them on a ventilator, and they say, 'If I get the vaccine now, can I not go on the ventilator?'" the nurse told CNN's Randi Kaye.

She said that she has to repeatedly point out that the right time to get a COVID-19 vaccine is before they get sick.

"They're desperate because they're gasping for air, they can't breathe, they're scared, they feel like they're going to pass away," the nurse continued. "They're just asking for whatever they can do to possibly keep them from being put on a ventilator because once a patient gets on a ventilator, it's really hard to wean them off."

Read more: Don't punish the vaccinated - make it harder to choose to be unvaccinated

Three patients told Randi Kaye that they would get vaccinated if they survive their spell in the ICU, CNN reported.

"These are patients who chose not to get the vaccine but now desperately want it," Kaye said.

The number of COVID-19 patients at Baptist Medical Center is rapidly rising, according to CNN. There are 349 patients with coronavirus at the moment, and 74 are in the ICU, the media outlet reported.

Around 44 percent of the patients at the hospital are under the age of 40, and are staying at the hospital much longer because they are sicker, Kaye said.

An overwhelming majority (99.6 percent) have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine, CNN added.

Jacksonville, where the hospital is situated, is one of the coronavirus hot spots in Florida, according to The New York Times.

Florida is confronting a COVID-19 spike. More than 73,000 new cases were reported this week, WFLA reported. The state now accounts for nearly a quarter of all new coronavirus cases reported in the US, Insider's Charles Davis reported.

Rising hospitalizations in states like Florida might encourage some Americans to get a shot, Insider's Aria Bendix said.

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