A 15-year-old Florida teen went through the scariest time of her life after experiencing extreme COVID-19 complications, and now, she is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid what happened to her or even worse!
Paulina Velasquez spent a long time in the hospital and was even on the ventilator for no less than 11 days before thankfully recovering from the virus.
Now, during an interview she gave CNN exclusively, Paulina shared that she first tested positive back in July, the symptoms she experienced being a loss of taste and smell as well as headaches and difficulty breathing!
The 15-year-old teenager also mentioned that when she contracted the virus, she was not vaccinated.
In less than a week, she was rushed to the hospital and put on a ventilator as a result of her low oxygen levels.
Agnes Velasquez, Paulina’s mother, told CNN: “That was the scariest moment when they told me because I didn’t know what to expect. I started asking questions.”
The news outlet also mentioned that Paulina had pneumonia and was eventually placed in a medically induced coma by the medical specialists at the hospital.
She remained on the ventilator for 11 days and eventually checked out of the facility in mid-August when she had healed.
Paulina told CNN that “It is a very serious virus. This virus does not pick and choose who to infect. It could hit you as hard as it hit me. And I do not want anyone to go through what I went through,” adding that before getting the virus, she had planned to get the vaccine.
As a result, she went on to highlight the urgency with which people should treat vaccinations, urging everyone not to waste any time or it might be too late.
“My message, technically is, just, if you’re eligible to get the vaccine, please do. I plan on getting vaccinated as soon as my doctors let us know I can.”
Sadly, Paulina’s case is not unique in the country as there has been a rise in infection due to the much more contagious delta variant, especially in those states where vaccination percentage is the lowest in the whole country.
For instance, Florida, where Paulina resides, has one of the highest daily averages of new COVID-19 cases, second only to Texas, as per updated data released by The New York Times.
Not only that, but medical specialists have also registered a concerning increase in cases among young kids and teens as a result of school re-openings and the start of in-person classes being more and more common.
This data is really worrisome, especially because a vaccine for minors under the age of 12 is yet to be authorized, so they have very little protection against the virus and its variants.
Pfizer and Moderna have, in the meantime, announced that trials testing the effects of their vaccines in this age group have started, but there is no way to tell when the shot will be safe and available for kids yet.