Skip to main content

“I’m Sorry, but It’s Too Late”: Alabama Doctor’s Crushing Story of COVID Patients Coming Around on Vaccines

A person in medical gear holds up a sticker reading "I've had my COVID vaccination"

Dr. Brytney Cobia has been working to keep everyone healthy during the pandemic. Now that there are three different vaccines available in the United States, many of us are already vaccinated and heading back out into the real world. But there are some who refuse to get their vaccines, and while they endanger us all, they’re also putting themselves at great risk and not always realizing they’ve been misled until it’s too late.

Cobia took to social media to share her story about her current patients and the difference between them—mainly that only one was vaccinated and was fine other than needing a bit of oxygen to help them get over COVID, versus the unvaccinated patients who died or struggled to stay alive.

“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote Cobiain a Facebook post on Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late. A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.”

Prior to this spring, a story like this would have been a source of anxiety for many of us, primarily because we didn’t know what was going to happen or how to avoid getting COVID when everyone seemed to blow off the warnings from those in charge. Now, with a vaccine at our fingertips and many of us already vaccinated, hearing about all those admitted to the hospital can be scary until you look at whether or not they were vaccinated. And as Cobia pointed out, nearly all those hospitalized did not get their vaccine.

Why not get a vaccine when they are available to you? Some are unduly hesitant because of the rampant amount of misinformation out there. Others may be worried about very real racial health inequalities that have permeated our medical system.

While some would think, “Oh well, I have mine,” it’s not that simple. There are some with young children who cannot get vaccinated yet, and there are some rare cases where someone who has been vaccinated has still gotten COVID (just a less severe infection), since the vaccines are known to be less than 100% effective, but the fact of the matter is that we’re not out of this pandemic yet.

Cobia spoke with and went further into how that feeling of “oh well” changes when she sees her patients and the regret they feel for not getting the vaccine when they could:

“You kind of go into it thinking, ‘Okay, I’m not going to feel bad for this person, because they make their own choice. But then you actually see them, you see them face to face, and it really changes your whole perspective, because they’re still just a person that thinks that they made the best decision that they could with the information that they have, and all the misinformation that’s out there. And now all you really see is their fear and their regret. And even though I may walk into the room thinking, ‘Okay, this is your fault, you did this to yourself,’ when I leave the room, I just see a person that’s really suffering, and that is so regretful for the choice that they made.”

Don’t wait and risk it. Don’t put others in harm’s way. Get the vaccine. Take care of yourself and those around you.

(image: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!  

 —The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.