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A Louisiana man who contracted COVID-19 and wound up hospitalized said he would rather be ill than get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“Here I am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. Am I going to get a vaccine? No,” Scott Roe told CBS News as he laid in a hospital bed getting supplemental oxygen at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center in Baton Rouge.
The father and small-business owner recently caught COVID-19 and developed pneumonia, but he said that he still would not have gotten vaccinated before he got sick to prevent the infection.
“I would have gone through this, yes sir,” Roe — who said he’s a Republican — told CBS News’ David Begnaud. “Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s what local, state, federal administration is trying to do — shove it down your throat.”
When Begnaud asked what is being “shoved,” Roe claimed, “their agenda is to get you vaccinated.”
US health officials have deemed the available coronavirus vaccines in the country safe and effective.
Each of the vaccines approved for emergency use in the US is effective in preventing COVID-19 — especially severe illness and death — and reduces the risk of people spreading the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Yet anti-vaccine misinformation and hesitancy have caused vaccination rates to stall. Health officials and politicians have urged residents to get vaccinated as the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky said 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are now among unvaccinated people.
“There is a message that is crystal clear: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said Friday.
After being hospitalized for COVID-19, Scott Roe of Louisiana told @DavidBegnaud that he would rather get sick and be hospitalized again than take the COVID vaccine.
“Here I am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. Am I going to get a vaccine? No.” pic.twitter.com/gdCx0dk4Ss
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 21, 2021
Louisiana is one of several US states battling a surge of coronavirus cases fueled by the Delta variant among the unvaccinated.
Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center currently has more COVID-19 patients than any other hospital in the state and it admitted 23 patients in 24 hours over the weekend, CBS News reported.
Paula Johnson, also unvaccinated, was another COVID-19 patient at the hospital.
“I have no comorbidities, nothing, never had a lung problem. Don’t smoke, nothing. And it took my lungs and just, I don’t even know how to explain it,” she told the news outlet. “It’s like trying to breathe in and hitting a wall in like a second.”
Johnson, a pharmaceutical researcher, says she now wants to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“I’d say get the vaccine, take the chance, it can’t hurt, all it can do is alleviate some of the symptoms, even if it doesn’t keep you from getting it — it will at least help you get through it,” Johnson said.