Lifestyle Health Alabama Doctor Says He Will Only See Patients Who Are Vaccinated: 'COVID Is a Miserable Way to Die' The physician, located in Mobile, said that three patients have already reached out asking to get vaccinated since he announced the new policy By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 19, 2021 11:46 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Man refusing vaccine. Photo: Getty Images An Alabama doctor is making his stance on vaccinations clear — he'll no longer treat patients who are unvaccinated. With just 36% of people in the state fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — the lowest rate in the country — Dr. Jason Valentine, a physician at Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile, posted a photo on Facebook of a sign in his office with his new policy. "Effective October 1st, 2021," the sign reads, "Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19." Valentine has since made the post private, but he said in the caption that "If they asked why, I told them COVID is a miserable way to die and I can't watch them die like that," AL.com reported. The family medicine specialist said that he's sending a letter to send to all of his patients explaining the new policy, which he also posted on Facebook. "We do not yet have any great treatments for severe disease, but we do have great prevention with vaccines. Unfortunately, many have declined to take the vaccine, and some end up severely ill or dead. I cannot and will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but I also cannot continue to watch my patients suffer and die from an eminently preventable disease," Valentine wrote. "Therefore, as of October 1st, 2021, I will no longer see patients that have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. If you wish to keep me as your physician, documentation of your vaccination will suffice. If you wish to choose another physician, we will be happy to transfer your records." Since putting up the sign, Valentine said that three of his unvaccinated patients have reached out asking where they could get a vaccine. RELATED VIDEO: N.Y.C. To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Dining And Fitness Alabama is currently dealing with their highest number of COVID-19 cases of the entire pandemic. On Aug. 15, they reported a state-record 6,992 new infections, a 42% increase over the last 14 days, according to The New York Times. Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have also soared, and the state said Wednesday that they are out of ICU beds due to the surge. The Delta Variant Is Expected to Cause 'Very Dense Outbreaks' in These Undervaccinated States In June, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said that unvaccinated people in the state should get the blame for the rise in cases. "Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down." "Let's get it done," she continued. "We know what it takes to get it done and it's to get a shot in your arm. I've done it. It's safe, it's effective ... it doesn't cost you anything. It saves lives." As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.