A woman turned down a COVID-19 vaccine because she was scared. She changed her mind after getting so sick she struggled to breathe.

Covid19 vaccine
A woman (unrelated to the story) receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • Ekaterina Wilson, an unvaccinated 39-year-old in North Carolina, had been scared of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • But after being hospitalized with COVID-19, she wished she could have gone back to get the shot.
  • A doctor at the hospital said almost all of his unvaccinated patients were having this realization.
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A 39-year-old woman changed her mind about coronavirus vaccines after getting so sick with the virus that she struggled to breathe.

Ekaterina Wilson spoke to reporters last week from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, where she was admitted to emergency care after catching COVID-19.

“I would love to be able to go back in time and tell myself to get the vaccine, that it’s safe and I’m protecting myself by getting it,” she said, “I was just so nervous over how new it was.”

Wilson, pictured in the tweet below, had assumed that because she was young and healthy, catching COVID-19 would not be dangerous for her.

“I thought it would be simple,” she said, referring to the disease. “It’s not,” she said.

After catching COVID-19, Wilson struggled to breathe and felt fatigued for nearly two weeks before being admitted to the hospital on July 19, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

“I can’t go through this again, it hurts too much to breathe,” WVEC, a local news station, reported.

Wilson is not alone. Dr. Kinchit Shah, a clinical assistant professor at the hospital, said almost all of his patients are unvaccinated.

“They told us when we were treating them they wish they could go back in time and change their mind or decision to get vaccinated,” Shah said.

Wilson’s condition was stabilized and she was able to return home on July 23, according to WFMY. But before doing so, she got her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital.

“You have to have it or you’re going to get sick,” Wilson said. “You need it to stay healthy.”