AU Health Chief Medical Officer fears new COVID-19 vaccine mandates may cause additional hesitancy

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – President Biden announced new coronavirus mandates Thursday that will affect millions of Americans. He’s calling the current times a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“Looking at this from a strictly science and medicine standpoint, my concern is that we may have patients who because of this measurement actually choose not to get vaccinated,” said AU Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule.

The Biden Administration’s plan to continue to fight against COVID-19 is in six parts. The Head of State is criticizing the nearly 80 million Americans who are not vaccinated.

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Coule said, “We’ve got 123 patients in our facility right now. Fifty-four are in the ICU. Forty-seven of those on the ventilator. None of the patients in the intensive care unit or on the ventilator are actually vaccinated. They’re all unvaccinated.”

Biden’s plan directs the labor department to enforce a rule that businesses with more than 100 workers must require employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. Coule reports vaccination rates have picked up at his hospital but worries about the effects of the new mandates.

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He explained. “Unfortunately, the politicization of COVID-19 and vaccination and the pandemic is I’m not sure really working in our favor. In fact, I’m quite sure it’s working against us and making the situation worse. It’s my belief that some of the vaccine hesitancy is actually based in mistrust of the government and unfortunately, with things like this, it serves to potentially make the situation worse in terms of people becoming more hesitant about the vaccine.”

Dr. Coule says the data is very clear, coronavirus vaccines are beneficial. He and his team also hope people will get vaccinated because Coule says, it’s the right thing to do.

He added, “The rest of this is all in the political realm of what’s the right public health policy. Again, I’m not sure what the answer is there. This is certainly a remarkable development, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

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