Arkansas Mom Issues Vaccine Plea After Teen Daughter Is Put on Ventilator with COVID: 'Get the Shot'
"It's heartbreaking. I wish I would've made better choices for her," mom Angela Morris told KTHV.
While COVID-19 cases have dropped around the country since the release of vaccines to fight the deadly illness, the virus remains a threat for many, especially to those who have not received a shot.
With her 13-year-old daughter now on a ventilator due to COVID-19, Angela Morris of Arkansas said she regrets having not received any of the vaccines currently available.
"It's very hard not knowing if she's really going to come home anymore or not," Morris told CBS affiliate KTHV of her daughter, Caia Morris Cooper.
"It's heartbreaking," she added. "I wish I would've made better choices for her."
While it's relatively rare, children and teenagers can experience severe symptoms from the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Caia has been at Arkansas Children's Hospital for nearly two weeks since she developed flu-like symptoms that quickly progressed.
"I really thought that since she stayed home a lot and when I went out, I always wore my mask. I really thought that she was going to be protected," Morris, who said she opted not to get herself or her daughter vaccinated because of vaccine misinformation, told KTHV.
"I just had a false sense of security that it was just like the flu and it wasn't that serious. Obviously, it is that serious and it was that serious," she added. "Now, I can see."
Though developing COVID-19 after getting fully vaccinated is rare, it is possible and "expected," the Centers for Disease Control say, as the vaccines are not 100% effective against the virus. Those cases — called breakthrough infections — are typically asymptomatic, and fully vaccinated people are much better protected against severe illness from COVID-19 that could lead to hospitalization or death. Only a tiny fraction of fully vaccinated people, around 0.00003%, have been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the CDC.
Morris started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for a larger apartment to allow Caia to have her own room once she recovers.
"We live at home and share a room and bed," Morris wrote. "She deserves her own space to grow... We just need help with moving costs and deposits."
According to a New York Times database, COVID-19 cases are climbing around the country, particularly as the Delta variant spreads amongst unvaccinated people.
Over the last 14 days, there has been a 111 percent increase in cases and a 22 percent increase in hospitalizations.
"I just want people to get their kids their shots," Morris told KTHV. "Everybody just needs to get the shot. It's a much better route than the one we're in."
This story originally appeared on people.com