A doctor in Missouri says some patients have worn disguises to their vaccinations to avoid letting people know they got the shot.
“I’ve had several people come in to get vaccinated who have sort of tried to disguise their appearance and even went so far as to say, ‘Please, please, please don’t let anybody know that I got this vaccine. I don’t want my friends to know,’” Dr Priscilla Frase told ABC News.
Dr Frase is an internist at Ozarks Medical Centre in West Plains, Missouri. That state, along with Arkansas, has become the epicentre of the United States’ latest wave of the coronavirus, which is wreaking havoc on regions with low vaccination rates.
In Missouri, only 50.6 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated. In parts of the state, coronavirus caseloads and hospitalisations have reached levels not seen since their peaks last winter, driven by the highly contagious new Delta variant.
But people in conservative states are still resisting the shots, at least partly because of misinformation from right-wing pundits and politicians. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly questioned the shots’ efficacy, and congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene recently said – falsely – that Covid was only dangerous to obese people and senior citizens.
In Missouri, Dr Frase said the shots were so unpopular patients do n0t want their friends or families to know they received one. According to ABC News, her hospital now offers a “private setting” for vaccinations.
Dr Frase is not the only physician who has recently spoken out about patients’ vaccine resistance. Dr Michael Bolding of Arkansas has said dying Covid patients at his hospital have belatedly begged him for the vaccine. Dr Brytney Cobia of Alabama says she’s had the same experience.
“One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine,” Dr Cobia has written. “I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”