Anti-vaxxer father-of-three, 52, begs others to have the jab after nearly losing three-week intensive care battle for his life against Covid

  • Andrew Pugh, of Worcester, was unjabbed when he caught Covid in December
  • He spent three weeks on ICU as doctors told family they feared for the worst 
  • Refuse collector is now pleading with fellow jab-sceptics to get inoculated 

An unvaccinated father-of-three who spent Christmas on an intensive care unit with Covid has pleaded with others to get their jabs following his close call with death.

Andrew Pugh, 52, spent three weeks at Worcestershire Royal Hospital after catching the virus at the start of December.

His girlfriend was warned by doctors that it was a ‘fifty-fifty’ chance the refuse collector would survive, as the ward began to fill up and he could overhear nearby ventilators being switched off.

At one point during the ordeal, Mr Pugh could barely eat, sleep or walk and received the majority of his oxygen through a full faced mask as friends and family feared the worst. 

But now the former anti-vaxxer has now begged fellow jab-sceptics to get their shots after his brush with death.

‘I didn’t get the vaccine, I thought I was being the hero. If it wasn’t for the nurses and the fact I’m a non-smoker I wouldn’t be alive – they saved my life,’ he told Worcester News. 

‘When you’re dead and all your family are heartbroken you can’t turn around and say “I wish I had the vaccine”.

‘This is very real and people need to get their jabs.’

Andrew Pugh, 52, spent three weeks at Worcestershire Royal Hospital after catching the virus at the start of December

Mr Pugh – who works as a binman for Wychavon District Council – has now been moved from the hospital’s intensive care ward, but remains on daily oxygen as he recovers from his bout of Covid. 

As others tragically passed away around him, Mr Pugh admitted he was ignorant in ignoring the threat of Covid and now believes he is ‘lucky to be alive’. 

In one chilling video, a wheezing and barely audible Mr Pugh can be heard thanking the support of his doctors and nurses and remaining hopeful of seeing his family soon.  

He has only been allowed one visitor since being admitted to hospital on December 5, but regularly shares updates in hospital with close friends and family on Facebook. 

Taking to social media, Mr Pugh admits he still can’t fully breathe on his own accord and at times during his hospital stay he feared his ‘pig-headed’ decision to not get vaccinated could have meant the end for him.

He explained: ‘Please people get your vaccinations, you don’t want to end up like me.’

Mr Pugh’s most recent updates provide a more optimistic picture as he is now able to stand by himself – albeit while he is still using oxygen to assist his breathing.

Britain’s vaccine rollout has continued to forge ahead in the New Year. 

In the 12 months since AstraZeneca was injected into Brian Pinker, 82, a dialysis patient in Oxford, nine billion Covid doses, including AstraZeneca, have been given worldwide.

In Britain alone, 90 per cent of over-12s have had their first vaccine and more than 80 per cent have had two doses, while 33 million boosters have been given.

The UK Health Security Agency has announced more than 150,000 cases for six days in a row, while there have been more than 100,000 infections registered per day for nearly two weeks. 

But the latest figures suggest growth in Covid hospitalisations in London – seen as a leading indicator of what may happen in the rest of the country – slowed in the run-up to New Year, although holiday reporting glitches could be affecting the total.

There were 319 patients admitted to hospital in London on December 31, a 14 per cent rise on the same day a week before, and 450 on 30 December which is a 15 per cent rise week-on-week.

While a holiday effect may be artificially keeping those numbers low, the rate of increase is well behind the days before that saw a 32 per cent increase on December 29 to 511 admissions.   

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