Beach teen urges people to get COVID-19 vaccine as some adults remain reluctant

vaccine hesitancy
Posted at 11:10 PM, Aug 04, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – The COVID-19 vaccine remains a polarizing issue to some.

Michelle Leday of Suffolk does not want to get the vaccine.

“Don't get me wrong,” said Leday. “Look, hats off to anybody that want to get it, but as for myself and my family, we're against it and we're not going to get it.”

Leday is not alone.

A recent survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found 14% of the 1,500 adults polled said they will “definitely not” get the COVID shot.

People’s stances on the matter remained virtually unchanged since December up until last week, even as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread.

“We don't know what you're putting in our bodies if we should decide to get that, because I mean, that shot is not approved by the CDC anyway,” Leday said.

Part of Leday’s skepticism is linked to her uncle who got the vaccine but still ended up being a rare breakthrough case. Leday said he caught the strain months after his second shot. Her uncle has been in an ICU in a Louisiana hospital for a week.

“My uncle’s sitting in an ICU right now and he had both shots, both of them,” Leday said. “He flatlined. I mean, he died and he's actually on a respirator right now and he's not even breathing. The machine is breathing for him. I'm praying for my aunt because God can work miracles.”

Evalisse Daniels, 17, understands the heartache and hesitancy surrounding the vaccine.

“I didn’t want to get sick, or I didn’t know if it was 100%,” said the Virginia Beach resident. “I wasn't really sure about getting it, but I’m glad I did.”

Daniels ultimately decided to roll up her sleeve after losing her great aunt to the virus before the shot was widely available.

“It's better if we are vaccinated so everyone can go back to how it was, eventually,” Daniels said.

The teen now has a message for anyone who has doubts.

Related: Virginia Beach family makes desperate plea to the unvaccinated after losing loved one to COVID-19

“Do what you feel is best, what's going to be better for everybody as a whole,” she said. “At the end of the day, I feel like it’s what we should think about, so people who are on the fence, [it] could be your family member one day.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll also found three in 10 adults remain unvaccinated including one in 10 who say they want to “wait and see” how the vaccine works for other people before getting the shot.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.