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Former vaccine skeptics reveal what convinced them to get the Coronavirus vaccine

As the numbers of Coronavirus surge again, it has been revealed that 97% of those getting hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Former vaccine skeptics reveal what convinced them to get the Coronavirus vaccine
Caucasian doctor and girl high-fiving in hallway - stock photo/Getty Images

The Coronavirus vaccine has been a political issue from the very start. Aided by misinformation propagated by anti-vaxxers, conservative and right-wing media, many have sworn to never get the vaccine. The arguments range from the vaccine was made too fast, to the pandemic itself being a hoax, but none of the arguments have been rooted in science, which overwhelmingly shows that vaccines are effective. As Coronavirus cases surge, numbers are beginning to highlight the divide between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The difference is so stark that 97% of people entering hospitals right now are unvaccinated, reported NPR. This once again reinforces what science has been telling us all along — that vaccines work.

Spain's Seniors Receive First Batch Of Covid-19 Vaccines - stock photo/Getty Images

Many people who were staunchly against the vaccine are now slowly turning the corner and getting the vaccine. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, one-fifth of Americans who had said in an earlier poll that they were hesitant or not going to take the vaccine said they changed their minds in a recent survey. Many are being convinced by a family member (21%), healthcare provider, or doctor (10%), or a close friend (5%). For some, sadly, it's the loss of close family members and loved ones that have spurred them to get the shot. Vaccine skeptics who got the shot are now opening up about what changed their minds:

1) Haifa Palazzo, a 68-year-old who was initially hesitant, was hospitalized with severe Coronavirus for two months and is now urging friends and family to get the shot. “If I could spare one person what I went through, then it was all worth it,” said Palazzo, reported ABC News.


2) Dr. Julius Johnson, a nurse practitioner and president of the Greater NYC Black Nurses Association, cited America's history with unethical medical treatments being experimented on the Black community for her lack of trust in the vaccine. "As a Black person, I'm hesitant about health care because of the way, historically we have been treated,” said Johnson. She gained the confidence to get the vaccine after seeing more than 100,000 people get the vaccine including those in her community.

3) A doctor in Alabama, Brytney Cobia, revealed a family agreed to take the vaccine after losing one of them to Coronavirus. “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," said Cobia, reported NBC News. "I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same,” she said. "They thank me and they go get the vaccine."



4) Conservative radio host Phil Valentine, who is responsible for vaccine hesitancy among his followers in Nashville, got the vaccine after he got a serious case of Coronavirus. The host announced on Valentine’s station, 99.7 WTN, that he was in a “serious condition” in the critical care unit. After he survived the scare, he changed his mind. “If he had to do it over again, he would be more adamantly pro-vaccination, and that is what he will bring in his message when he gets back to that microphone,” said his brother Mark, reported RollingStone.

5) The loved ones of Michael Freedy, a 38-year-old father who succumbed to the virus, got the vaccine the day he was diagnosed with Coronavirus. “I should have gotten the damn vaccine,” he told his finaceé Jessica DuPreeze in a text message from the hospital, reported CNN. "We just wanted to wait a year … just to watch and see what people's reactions were to it. We didn't think a year would matter," said Jessica DuPreez about their decision to wait for the vaccine.


6) Williams Hughes was lucky enough to survive the virus and is now telling everyone to get the vaccine. “It’s made me wish that I’d gotten the vaccine," said Hughes with a breathing tube attached to his nose. He's now ensuring his family is vaccinated. “Please, just go get the vaccine. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family,” said Hughes, reported The Huffington Post.



7) Payten McCall, 24, got vaccinated after losing her oldest brother and her dad to Coronavirus. The family had health complications and were apprehensive about their bodies' reaction to the vaccine but the decision to not get the vaccine would cost them dearly. Losing her dad was very painful. "I didn't get to hug him and I didn't get to kiss him, but I got to tell him that I loved him and that it was OK and that I got vaccinated." Her brother also didn't make it after contracting Coronavirus, reported WBALTV.

8) "I was scared at first because I have polycystic ovary syndrome and didn't know what it would do to me in the future when I wanted to try to conceive. But being in the military, when I finally got a chance to go home to see my 70-year-old dad, I knew I had to get it to keep him safe. I couldn’t live with myself if I gave him Coronavirus," said a person, reported Buzzfeed News.

9) For some, the motivation to get vaccinated was to not feel left out. "I got vaccinated because of pressure from my family and society. I was scared I wouldn't be able to partake in normal, everyday things like grocery shopping, work, school, and travel unless I got it," they said.



10)  For some people, more than personal safety, it was about not endangering those they came into contact with. "I wasn’t planning on getting the vaccine at first, mainly because of my fear of needles. One day it finally hit me that I work with infants and need to do what I can to protect them as well as myself," said the person.

With Coronavirus cases spiking once again in many states, including Florida and Arkansas, Biden is urging people to get vaccinated and follow CDC guidelines, including wearing masks. Biden was critical of GOP governors who refused to allow schools and businesses to implement a mask mandate. "I say to these governors: Please help. But if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way," said Biden," reported CNN.

Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

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