After a 12-hour shift working in the emergency department of a South Florida hospital, a local physician felt compelled to share a message with his social media followers: Get vaccinated.
"If you're on the edge about getting vaccinated I really encourage you guys to do so," said Dr. Fayez Ajib, a 29-year-old emergency medicine resident who practices in Miami-Dade County. "You don't know how bad it can get and you don't want to take that chance."
Ajib, who posted the now-viral video on TikTok, said he personally has never treated more patients for COVID-19 in a single shift.
"It feels like COVID is back, but with a vengeance," he said.
He added that most patients who came to the emergency room with severe illness were unvaccinated.
"Some of the people that I talked to felt like, in a way, they regretted their decision not to get vaccinated because they didn't think it would be this bad," he said in the video.
Ajib's TikTok video has amassed nearly 3 million video views as of Wednesday, August 4. He said he was definitely surprised by the reaction.
"I remember waking up and seeing that the video had gone viral and it was filled with comments of people saying things like "This was my sign, I'm going to get vaccinated" so it made me really happy to read that," he said in an e-mail.
Ajib, who was born in Lebanon and raised in Florida, said he decided to create a TikTok account as a creative outlet.
"I made my first TikTok video in December of 2019 and since then have really enjoyed just producing creative medically-related content," he said. "Most of my followers are in the medical field or are in school studying to become doctors, nurses, technicians, etc. I just enjoy making people laugh at how relatable the field can sometimes be."
A large portion of his content is now dedicated to educating others about COVID-19.
"I had a platform and I wanted to use it to encourage people to get vaccinated because I was seeing just how protective the vaccine was to those who did receive it," he said.