- A Florida woman is calling on people to get the vaccine after losing family members to COVID-19, CNN reported.
- Payten McCall told the outlet her father and brother died from the virus just days apart last week.
- Unvaccinated people comprise an overwhelming number of hospitalizations amid the Delta variant’s spread.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A 24-year-old Florida woman who was hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine is now calling on others to receive the shot after losing family members to the virus in the same week, according to CNN.
Payten McCall told the outlet her family held off from getting vaccinated initially, but she received her first shot of the vaccine after her parents became hospitalized after contracting the virus.
McCall’s 35-year-old brother died last Monday from the virus after getting sick in early July and her father died just a few days later. She told CNN how her mother was able to return home last week after recieving treatment in the hospital, but was left reeling after losing her husband and son.
“It has been one of the most, roughest and hardest experiences that I have ever had to go through in my whole life, and I would never, ever wish this on anybody in their family,” McCall told CNN. “I mean, I wish it wasn’t me, but I sure wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”
The highly infectious Delta variant has caused a rise in hospitalizations, especially among those who are unvaccinated. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last month that the surge in numbers indicates the situation is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Some people who stalled to get their shots are now expressing regret, Insider’s Aria Bendix previously reported.
“I’m admitting young, healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” Dr. Brytney Cobia, a hospitalist in Birmingham, Alabama, said in a Facebook post. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”
Among those urging others to reconsider their hesitancy over the vaccine is a 24-year-old who received a double lung transplant after contracting the virus.
“He wanted to wait until it was out like 10 years or so, kind of like a lot of the population wants it to be out longer,” Blake Bargatze’s mother told WXIA, Insider’s Kelsey Vlamis previously reported.
McCall told CNN the family members were initially afraid to get the vaccine due to underlying health conditions and concerns of side effects of the shots.
“We weren’t trying to convince anyone not to get it,” McCall told the outlet. “We didn’t care what choices people made, but unfortunately we made the wrong one.”