(WASHINGTON) — Virginia residents Travis and Kellie Campbell were unvaccinated when they both contracted COVID-19 in late July. Since then, Travis Campbell has been hospitalized for 12 days and spoke to ABC News from his hospital bed at the Bristol Regional Medical Center Hospital in Tennessee.
“When you feel like you have to fight for your life, you don’t realize that you’re fighting for every single breath all day long,” said Travis Campbell.
“If I have a day or two left, I don’t want to waste my time,” he said. “I want to help as many people as I can, to let them see the real truth, that [the delta variant] is real, and it’s only getting stronger and faster.”
The highly contagious delta variant now accounts for 93% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in the U.S., compared to late May when it only accounted for 3%, according to data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kellie Campbell, who was previously hospitalized with the virus, said the family was not against the vaccine, but hadn’t prioritized getting it.
“We just put it in the back of our mind and we kept saying, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow, we’ll do it tomorrow.’ We have a very hectic life and it’s no excuse but that’s our excuse,” said Kellie Campbell.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, hospitals in Virginia reported that 99% of those infected, hospitalized or who died in the past six months were not fully vaccinated.
“We thought it wasn’t an urgent matter to get the vaccine and I was wrong,” said Travis Campbell.
As of Tuesday, vaccination rates have reportedly risen in all 50 states, according to an ABC News analysis of CDC data from the last three weeks.
Travis Campbell said he regrets not getting vaccinated and is now encouraging his loved ones to do so before it is too late.
“I would rather be covered and protected and if something does happen and I have to worry about repercussions of the vaccine versus being buried in seven days,” he said. “I beg you, please see your doctor and make an evaluated decision and protect your family or prepare yourself for your next life.”
ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos and Cheyenne Haslett contributed to this report.
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