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WATCH NOW: Northam to those who refuse COVID vaccine: 'Think how you want your obituary to read'
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WATCH NOW: Northam to those who refuse COVID vaccine: 'Think how you want your obituary to read'

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Sept. 28 series
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As frustration continues over people who refuse to get the free COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ralph Northam issued strong words on Monday and suggested they think about their obituaries.

Nearly all new COVID-19 cases are of those who were not vaccinated, and the data show that vaccinations have few serious side effects, Northam said at a Monday news conference.

“If you know that and you still don’t want the shot then I hope you give some thought to how your family will remember you,” he said. “Give some thought to what they’ll do without you. Think about how you want your obituary to read because you’re taking a foolish, dangerous chance and it affects many more people than just you.”

COVID case numbers in Virginia have dropped in the past few days but are still way too high, Northam said.

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“Ask any exhausted nurse in any hospital in Virginia,” he said. “Today we reported 1,997 new cases. That’s better than a couple weeks ago, but it’s a whole lot more than the start of the summer when at one point we had fewer than 100 cases in a day.”

“Patience is wearing thin” for those who chose to get vaccinated and want normal life back, he said.

“By choosing not to get vaccinated, you are absolutely hurting other people,” he said. “Unvaccinated COVID patients are the people filling up our hospitals right now, making it difficult for everyone else to get the hospital care that they need, and you are costing everyone a lot of money.”

Northam acknowledged there was probably little he could do to convince people who still haven’t gotten the vaccine. But he reminded the public that a year after contracting the disease himself, he still cannot taste or smell.

“Believe me, you don’t want to get it.”

Patrick Wilson is a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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