75 doctors from South Florida hospitals staged a walkout to protest a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients

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75 doctors from South Florida hospitals staged a walkout to protest a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients
South Florida doctors take part in a walkout to protest a surge in unvaccinated patients. WPTV
  • About 75 doctors from hospitals in South Florida took part in a walkout Monday.
  • The doctors wanted to draw attention to a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.
  • Florida recorded nearly 150,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week.
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Dozens of South Florida doctors staged a symbolic walkout of a hospital in Palm Beach Gardens on Monday to protest a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, according to local reports.

WPTV reported that about 75 doctors - from numerous hospitals and offices - took part in the walkout. Some even took breaks from their shifts to participate, MSNBC reported.

Florida is experiencing the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the nation, having reported nearly 150,000 new cases in the past week alone, according to Monday data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitals in the state are at 84.6% capacity, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Only a little over half of the state's population - 51.6% - is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to data from the Mayo Clinic.

The doctors who took part in Monday's walkout said the vast majority of the cases they're seeing most recently were among unvaccinated patients, many of whom have expressed regret about not having been vaccinated, WPTV reported.

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They decided to stage the walkout to draw attention to the crisis and to call on more people to get vaccinated.

"We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low and we need your help," Dr. Rupesh Dharia from Palm Beach Internal Medicine told WFLA.

"The vaccine still remains the most effective and reliable way to stop this madness," Dr. Leslie Diaz, an infectious-disease specialist, told WFLA.

The protest came on the same day the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine gained full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also available in the US, still under the FDA's emergency-use authorization. All three have been shown to be highly effective at preventing severe infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

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