Virus surges among unvaccinated. Why they refuse shot.

I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our biggest stories of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.

Today, our front page encourages people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. I agree completely with the message because overwhelming evidence shows vaccines save lives, but wonder if it will make a difference. Those against the shot are adamant in their beliefs.

One of them is my brother. 

About 2,000 people a week in the U.S. are dying from COVID-19, mostly infected by the fast-spreading delta variant, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. About 99% of deaths today are people who did not get vaccinated. Patients dying in hospitals are telling loved ones they regret not getting the vaccine.

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