Florida physicians convene, urge unvaccinated to get COVID-19 shots

About 75 physicians from numerous hospitals and medical groups in Palm Beach County, Fla., assembled outside a medical office Aug. 23 to encourage the community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The healthcare professionals, affiliated with South Florida hospitals, assembled just before sunrise Aug. 23 outside the offices of Palm Beach Internal Medicine in Palm Beach Gardens. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Palm Beach County have increased 44 percent over the past 14 days, and physicians who spoke expressed frustration and feeling fatigued.

"We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low," said Rupesh Dharia, MD, internist with Palm Beach Internal Medicine, according to coverage from local NBC affiliate WFLA

Ethan Chapin, MD, an emergency medicine physician with Jupiter (Fla.) Medical Center, noted the preventable nature of this COVID-19 surge. "All we're asking is, in the same way you trusted us to take care of you, your family, your friends, trust us now in what we're telling you: The vaccine is safe, and it can save your life," according to the Sun Sentinel. 

As of Aug. 24, 53 percent of Palm Beach County's residents are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. That is roughly in line with Florida as a whole, where 52 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. 

The physicians' assembly came hours before the FDA granted full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for use in people ages 16 and older. 

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