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Local doctor addresses Bradley Beal's vaccination hesitancy

“I hope his decision is to vaccinate because we want to see him succeed,” said Dr. Patri. “We want him healthy."

ST. LOUIS — He's one of the best basketball players ever to come out of St. Louis, but NBA star Bradley Beal let reporters in on a secret: He's not vaccinated.

This news comes after Beal missed the 2020 Olympic games due to testing positive for COVID-19.

“I am not vaccinated,” said Bradley Beal. “No, I’m not.”

Beal has developed into one of the best scorers in the NBA, but he revealed there’s one shot he won’t take.

“You can’t necessarily force anybody or kind of say it’s time for a vaccine,” said Beal. “I think you kind of let people come into their own about it. They do their research when they feel comfortable.”

Beal says his parents, brothers, and his sister-in-law have already rolled up their sleeves, so what’s stopping the superstar from doing the same?

“I would like a vaccination to why people with vaccines why are they still getting COVID,” asked Beal.

We took that question to Dr. Mano Patri, an infectious disease physician at SSM Lake St. Louis Hospital.

“The objective of a vaccine is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and severe death,” said Dr. Patri. “That is what this vaccine has succeeded in doing.”

Beal acknowledged that despite overcoming COVID once he’s still susceptible to the virus again.

“It’s no different than somebody with the vaccine,” said Beal. “Yes, I developed the antibodies for it, so my chances will be less likely now as well, right?”

“You may have some immunity after having a viral infection,” said Dr. Patri. “The problem is No. 1 you have no idea how long that immunity may last and No. 2 you don’t know how strong that immunity may be.”

Beal says he doesn’t feel any pressure to get vaccinated.

“People are dying,” said Dr. Patri. “These are truths.”

Dr. Patri says she’s encouraged that Beal hasn’t closed the door on getting the shot altogether.

“I hope his decision is to vaccinate because we want to see him succeed,” said Dr. Patri. “We want him healthy. We don’t want him to be one of the victims of COVID.”

The NBA currently has a vaccination rate near 90% and hopes to reach 100% before the start of training camp.