‘They need to do their part’: Toledo nurse pleads with people to get COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 10:23 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Julie Shaver is tired.

She works as a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Toledo. Like everyone else, she’s sick of COVID-19.

But treating people who are sick with COVID who don’t have to be is exhausting.

“We’ve seen so many people who haven’t gotten the vaccine,” she said. “They’re very sick. They’re on ventilators. They’re dying.”

Ohio health officials Wednesday expressed concerns as Ohio’s patient count climbs.

“The rapid spread of the threatening delta variant statewide, especially in the context of our hospitals being very busy caring for patients with other serious conditions brings heightened concerns,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

He pointed to numbers from the Ohio Hospital Association that say 1-in-13 patients in hospitals around the state are there with COVID-19. 1-in-7 ICU patients are there with COVID-19. 60 days ago, the numbers were 1-in-59 and 1-in-45, respectively.

“This continues to be the unvaccinated who are driving these hospitalizations,” Vanderhoff said.

That’s what Shaver is seeing on the front lines.

“It’s horrible what we’re seeing for the unvaccinated,” Shaver said. “We’re trying to take the best care we can of these people. We really are. But they need to do their part, too.”

Shaver has an autoimmune disease. U.S. regulators recently cleared the path for high-risk people like her to get a third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

She got her third shot Wednesday.

“As soon as I heard about it, I jumped right on it,” she said.

But as she embraces that third jab, Shaver is still fighting to convince people to get their first shot.

“I encourage you: Please get the vaccine,” Shaver said. “It’s making a difference. There are families getting wiped out by this virus.”

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