'I didn't make the time': Doctor explains why many aren't vaccinated in Hidalgo County

3 months 2 days 7 hours ago Thursday, August 26 2021 Aug 26, 2021 August 26, 2021 6:51 AM August 26, 2021 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic

The latest study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinated people.

“In general, is it 26, 20, 22? It doesn't matter," said Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez. "What does matter is that there is an astronomically larger opportunity for you to die and be hospitalized if you have not been vaccinated.”

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But research like this begs the question on many minds: why are so many people still not getting vaccinated? While the answer to that question may be different in other parts of the country, for Hidalgo County, there seems to be a trend, according to Dr. Melendez.

“I ask every single person and I usually get the same answer and that is, ‘Doc, I didn’t make the time. I was so busy. I didn’t think it could happen to me,’” Melendez said.

Dr. Melendez says that in the last 18 months of the pandemic, he can only remember one of the patients he's treated not showing remorse.

“Very few will say, ‘I don’t believe in the vaccines. I never would have taken it,'" Dr. Melendez said. "And even less will say, ‘Even now, I would not get vaccinated.’ 99.9% of the people regret not being vaccinated.”

And some people are still not on board, even with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently fully approving the Pfizer vaccine.

“I think that some of these people, at least half that have not been vaccinated, they’ll look for another excuse," Dr. Melendez said. "We’re already hearing it: ‘It was rushed, it was pressured, they shouldn't have approved it.’”

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