GREENVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) Local health officials are alerting the Tri-State on increasing COVID-19 cases, and the increasing need to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, a western Kentucky DJ and business owner shares his story on how his perspective on vaccines changed after a recent bout with the virus.
“When it hit me this time, it was like a Mack truck. My whole family got it, but I was experiencing pneumonia in both lungs,” said Billy Steele, a barber shop owner and radio show host on WKYA-FM in Greenville, describing his experience with COVID-19 after being infected around the 4th of July. He says when the vaccine came out, he was leery of it. and kept putting it off.
“My partner at the radio station, Wendell Miller, he got the vaccine some time ago, and he begged me, nearly every morning, ‘Please Billy. Get the vaccine,'” Steele recalled.
After spending more than four days in the hospital, Steele’s view changed.
“I think it’s needed. I would love to see all my friends get it,” Steele said.
COVID numbers are climbing at Deaconess Health System. Officials say 105 patients are in their hospitals with COVID. That is up from 21 just two weeks ago. They also say 18 of the 32 patients in the ICU are on ventilators. Dr. James Porter says most of their patients are unvaccinated.
“The vast majority of people who we see hospitalized and we will see die as a result of this surge could have been vaccinated and could have been prevented, and that is tragic when we know there are preventable deaths,” he explained.
Steele says now that he and his family recovered, they’ll get the vaccine, and he wants others to get the vaccine too.
“I think we need to take this thing serious and realize that it is real, and it’s killing people, and not only that, it’s making them sick,” he said.
Steele also tells us he’s not able to get the vaccine until October because of the treatments he got while in the hospital.
(This story was originally published on August 9, 2021)