A former anti-vaxxer who quite recently changed her mind, at least when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, posted a TikTok video addressing her fellow anti-vaxxers and advising them to get vaccinated from a hospital room as she struggled to keep from coughing. She admits that she had believed in the popular anti-vaccine falsehood that her blood type would somehow protect her from contracting COVID-19 and therefore didn’t get the shot.

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By the time Shannon Christine Marie realized it wasn’t true, it was too late to keep her out of the hospital.

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“Hey guys, I have O negative blood type, and I did not get the vaccine,” she says as the video starts. “I was against the vaccine, I was scared of the vaccine. I didn’t think that if I even got COVID [that] it was gonna affect me in a negative way because I seemed to have though that my blood type was gonna be a factor and I was gonna be okay.”

“Anyway, it turned out that my blood type has nothing to do with it,” she admitted around coughs.

The idea that certain blood types protect against infection or severe illness due to COVID-19 came from a study published in March 2021 which found small differences in rates of developing a severe case among blood types, with O negative being among the lowest. Anti-vaxxer groups took this study and went wild, pushing the claim that O negative folks are entirely protected and therefore don’t need to get vaccinated.

If you actually read the study, you find that the difference in risk is only slight, if it exists at all, as is stated outright by the conclusion.

“The O and Rh− blood groups may be associated with a slightly lower risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 illness,” the study text reads.

Thanks to anti-vaxxer networks, Marie may not survive her bout with severe COVID-19. “My suggestion is either use your masks and sanitizer still or get the vaccine. I wish I’d got the vaccine. I wish I wasn’t anti-vaccine,” she concludes. “Do what you want, just be safe.”

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Marie posted a follow-up video a week after putting up her original pro-vaccine TikTok post, filming from home but still on supplemental oxygen, further advising any vaccine-hesitant people to talk with their doctors, get bloodwork done if they’re worried and if everything looks okay, to get the shot. She gave some allowances for people who decide for whatever reason to refuse the vaccine, but urges them to do the right thing in that case and properly socially distance to avoid getting and spreading the illness.

The first video gained over 480,000 views since being posted earlier in the month. She stated in the second that her live feed answering questions about the vaccine and her situation had been taken down, as happens a lot with TikTok users talking about COVID. She also said that she would be getting the vaccine as soon as possible, but has to wait at least three months.

Though some took issue with Marie stopping short of saying everyone who is not at significant risk of severe reaction should get the vaccine, many were grateful to her for doing something human beings tend to struggle with a whole lot — changing her mind.

“As a nurse, completely exhausted by anti vaxxers, I appreciate you doing the right thing coming on here,” said one commenter. “I’m sure it was hard to admit you were wrong.”

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*First Published: August 25, 2021, 11:32 am