A US couple in their 40s died of Covid-19 after decided against getting vaccinated.
Kevin Mitchem was initially reluctant to have the vaccine and it was not until his wife Misty died last month and he too fell ill with Covid that he decided he should have accepted the jab.
His father Dom told the news network: “Kevin called me on a Monday and said, ‘Misty’s in the hospital.’ They say she’s got Covid. They automatically put her on a ventilator she was so bad.”
Misty died in hospital a day after her husband was also admitted with the virus. He called his mother from his hospital bed before being put to ventilator to express regret about not having the vaccine.
Kevin’s mother, Terry Mitchem, added: “He called me up and said, ‘Mom, I love you, and I wish that I’d got the shot’. “Of course I told him, ‘It’s past. You can’t do anything about it.’”
She and other relatives had tried to convince both her son and his wife to get vaccinated.
Mr Mitchem’s father, Dom, told NBC 4: “We’d just say, ‘Hey, Kevin let’s get the shot, buddy. It’s not going to hurt you,’ ”
In response, his son would apparently say: “’Oh, I know. I’m alright. I’m not going to get the shot. I don’t need it.’”
Their family are now urging those who have not yet had the vaccine to get immunised.
“Please get it,” Kevin’s father said. “That virus will take you at any age. But taking a mother and father is, it’s uncalled for.”
Kevin and Misty met in high school and had four children together, aged one to 11. Kevin also had an adult daughter from a previous relationship and a grandson.
Their children are now being cared for by an aunt in South Carolina, reported NBC 4.
The news come as the retiring head of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) admitted on Sunday that top public health officials had underestimated the level resistance that many Americans would have towards getting vaccinated against Covid-19.
Dr Francis Collins said: “Looking back, I think we underestimated the vaccine hesitancy issue. We were so totally devoted to try to get the best science brought forward to make these vaccines happen and to make sure they were safe and effective.”
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