Michelle Spence, an ICU Nurse Unit Manager at the Royal Melbourne Hospital described her experience of the COVID-19 pandemic during Victoria’s daily health update on Sunday.
“Over the last 18 months we have had people die in our ICU by themselves and we hold their hands, we hold their hands while their families have to be at home and that is absolutely not what this should be about… loved ones deserve to have their families with them when they die,” she said.
“One of the saddest things I’ve seen over the last few weeks is people wanting the vaccination just before we put them on a life support machine.
ICU Nurse Unit Manager Michelle Spence. Picture: Supplied / Sky News Australia
“That is the absolute truth, I’ve seen it myself. They’re begging for the vaccination, they’re very young and once we get to that and we’re about to put them on life support, it is really too late.
“This could be you, if you’re waiting now to get the vaccination, if you are waiting, it is your window not to be this person. It is your window to absolutely not be another unnecessary statistic.”
It takes around 12 days for your body to build immunity against the virus after the first vaccine and 7 to 14 days after your second dose before you are fully protected.
“You need two doses to get strong protection against the virus that causes COVID-19,” the Australian Government Department of Health states.
“The first dose gives you partial protection as soon as 12 days afterwards. The second dose encourages your body to create stronger protection (immunity). It takes 7 to 14 days after your second dose before you are fully protected,” according to the department.
Victoria records 1,220 new local COVID cases
There are 476 COVID-19 patients in Victorian hospitals, 98 of whom are in intensive care – 57 on a ventilator.
Victoria’s COVID commander Jeroen Weimar said the hospital numbers were “pretty stark” with 70 per cent of the cases recorded in the past 24 hours under the age of 40.
Ms Spence explained the virus “does not discriminate” no matter your age or health condition.
“It is not old people, it is not people with comorbidities, it is not anything like that, it does not discriminate and I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” she said.
“We are absolutely begging you to go out and do this one thing that you can do for yourself, the one thing you can do for your families, your loved ones and healthcare system is to get vaccinated. 
“Please do not wait. I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re scared, I know you’re over it, we’re all over it but it’s time. It’s time to absolutely make a difference.”

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