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After her son dies from COVID, mother organizes vaccination campaign at funeral

An indoor mask advisory has been issued in New Orleans, and Louisiana faces a major setback in its battle against the coronavirus.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards grapples with the most COVID infections since winter, leading to an upsurge in hospitalizations.

“I actually lost my breath today when the daily update came in,” Edwards said.

Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Nevada are the hardest hit states right now, as unvaccinated Americans are driving these trends.

Brandon, 46-year-old son of Betty Antoine has become a COVID statistic, although she begged him to get COVID-19 vaccine.

“I begged him, I said, ‘You need to get the shot, Brandon.’ “Oh, no, mom, I’m not going to take it. And you better not take the vaccine either, “Antoine recalled in a conversation with CBS News’s David Begnaud.

“Has he ever spoken to his doctor?” Begnaud asked.

“His doctor wanted him to take the vaccine. He told him no,” Betty said.

He told his mother and friends that he had done the research and wanted to wait, but Antoine said his son had missed an important detail from his friends.

“He didn’t tell his friends about all the underlying health issues he had. He had a bad heart. He had lung problems, COPD,” she said. Brandon tested for COVID-19 and died six later. Standing next to her bedside, Antoine said she was overcome with a goal.

“First of all, I was so full of… I mean angry. I was a little angry, not so much with him, but because he didn’t take the vaccine,” he said. she declared. “And I said, at that point, I’m going to ask his friends and everyone to take this vaccine in his honor.”

Antoine offered COVID-19 vaccines at his funeral. Three people stepped in that day to get vaccinated and another 10 followed later.

“I just wanted them to see Brandon’s ashes. I wanted them to know, listen, Brandon died because he didn’t take the vaccine,” she said.

Of the 100 million unvaccinated Americans, many are healthcare workers.

“In order to protect patients, we must not carry viruses,” said Christopher Thomas, intensive care doctor in Baton Rouge. “We did it for the flu. We have to be patient-centered. And that forces us as health care professionals to take the first step in that first step is to get vaccinated.”


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