'This virus doesn't care': Mother mourns death of daughter who refused to get COVID-19 vaccine
PHOENIX - A mother of five has lost her battle with COVID-19, and members of her family say it happened quickly, in just the span of a week.
31-year-old Danielle Stevens was not vaccinated, and her death is prompting her loved ones to get the shot.
"It still hasn't hit me yet. It hasn't hit me yet," said Regina Baker, Stevens' mother. "None of us were going to get our shots."
Hours after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Baker said me she is trying to become the guardian of her five grandchildren in the aftermath of Stevens' death.
Baker said her daughter was diabetic, and her health quickly went downhill after being infected late last month. She had to be put on a ventilator, and Baker believes Stevens lost her fight to the delta variant.
Despite having doubts about the COVID vaccine, Baker is now changing her mind.
"I want everybody else to get vaccinated and not go through what I have to go through, and not have to feel the pain that I feel," said Baker.
Others in Stevens' family also fell ill to COVID-19
Stevens' kids range from one to 13 years of age. Her oldest, Alexis, recently recovered from COVID-19.
"I had body aches, coughing and fevers," said Alexis.
"This virus don't care. It doesn't, and it's just out to destroy everybody. Everybody needs to get their shots and take it seriously," said Baker.
Just over half of all Arizonans are vaccinated
In May, Arizona's top health official, Dr. Cara Christ, said it was possible for the state to reach herd immunity by fall, meaning 70% to 80% of Arizonans would be vaccinated. As of Aug. 9, however, only 53% of Arizonans are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services say 89% of COVID-19 cases in July are among adults who are not fully vaccinated. In addition, nearly all of 2021's COVID-19 deaths in Arizona are attributed to people not fully vaccinated.
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