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SWFL woman needs COVID-19 vaccine but has allergy

Not everyone wants the COVID-19 vaccine, but some people don’t even have the option. They simply can’t get it.

For Linda Myers, time with her mother is everything, but right now, it’s limited.

“I did meet the ambulance out front before she went in. And I gave her her earrings that had to be taken off at the hospital and I cried like a baby because this is my mother.”

Myers said the two can’t even touch and it’s because she can’t get the COVID vaccine.

“It’s not a fact that I don’t want to have the vaccine, it’s the fact that I medically cannot have the vaccine,” she said.

“If I do get the COVID vaccine, I run the risk of dying.”

Four years ago, a flu shot sent her to the ICU for 12 days, she said. After that, she was told not to get any vaccines. This year, she tried anyhow.

“She told me that they would not vaccinate me because of my allergy and the unknown component, and they did not have the medical backup or care if I were to crash,” she said.

“It’s upsetting. It brings me to tears sometimes because I really want to live a normal life.”

Another part of that normal life is work, something else she had to give up because she can’t get vaccinated.

“As a travel agent, I can’t travel. I have a trip to Spain in October, and they’re refusing to let me travel on that ship because I don’t have the card.”

But Dr. Michael Teng with USF Health said people with allergies or sensitivities have options.

“We have these mRNA vaccines which are very effective, the adenovirus vector vaccine – such as the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines. And then NovaVax is a different form as well – it’s just a protein vaccine.”

Teng said Benadryl or injectable adrenaline can help with some vaccine reactions, but if you have concerns, play it safe and get vaccinated in a hospital setting.

Myers said she’ll take the vaccine and the risk if it means more time with the people she loves.

“I don’t know how much time I have left with her with the Alzheimer’s and COPD. But I do know that she’s my world,” Myers said of her mother.

WINK News reached out to NCH to see if there was anything the health care system could do to help Myers. They said the manager of their COVID-19 vaccine clinic will reach out to her personally to work toward a solution.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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