TikTok Star Urged Others to Get Vaccinated Before Dying of COVID-19

Megan Alexandra Blankenbiller had planned to get vaccinated but passed away in the hospital before being able to do so.

Megan Alexandra Blankenbiller, a woman who was hospitalized with COVID-19, went viral on TikTok when she pleaded with others to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Alexandra's Story Told Through TikTok

Alexandra uploaded her first post after being hospitalized on August 15, 2021. "I don't have a lot of energy for talking, so I want to try to make this quick," Alexandra said in the video from her hospital bed. "I did not get vaccinated. I'm not anti-vax, I was just trying to do my research. I was scared and I wanted me and my family to all do it at the same time."

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"I do think it was a mistake. I shouldn't have waited," Alexandra said, before urging people to get vaccinated. "I think if you're even 70% sure that you want the vaccine, go get it. Don't wait, go get it. Because hopefully, if you get it, then you won't end up in the hospital like me, okay?"

Alexandra shared four TikToks from the hospital, including an unnerving TikTok that showed her looking scared as someone could be heard screaming in the background. "The 'vid got me guys. DO NOT WAIT TO GET VACCINATED! Go now!! And please pray/send good vibes, etc for me. ❤️ Stay safe muffins! 💋," she wrote in the caption.

In a later TikTok, Alexandra revealed that her hospital experience had been frightening. "I've been here since for early Friday morning," Alexandra said. "All I've been hearing are the moans and screams of people in pain. People, I'm assuming, that have lost people that they love because I know what that's like personally and what that sounds like."

Alexandra died a little more than a week after her first August 2021 hospital post. The top comment on her final post was from August 24, 2021, and it simply said, "Alexandra passed from this world into the next world today. She is missed."

People praised Alexandra in the comments for encouraging others to go for the vaccine, and some even said her story is prompting them to get vaccinated. "RIP. I'm gonna go schedule my appointment now," one wrote. "I was honestly unsure about it but I'm getting it as soon as possible now," another said.

"It's no secret this is something that should be taken seriously," Alexandra's sister, Cristina Blankenbiller, told WebMD. Cristina also shared that she, Alexandra, their mother, and their sister made appointments to get vaccinated, but they all came down with COVID-19 before their shots. "Her final video really showed a lot of who she was," sister Rachel Blankenbiller said. "She was selfless—the type of person who used her final days to help others."

What To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

As of July 2022, individuals aged six months and older can get COVID-19 vaccinations, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, special vaccine considerations are in place for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, have allergies, are homebound, reside in long-term facilities, are planning to become or are pregnant, or have been vaccinated beyond the United States. There are four approved vaccines that have been manufactured and approved: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson.

The recommended COVID-19 vaccine products vary based on an individual's age. Children six months to four years old can receive a three-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or a two-dose primary series of the Moderna vaccine. Children five to 17 years old can receive a two-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine. Adults 18 and older can get a two-dose primary series of any vaccine product.

Booster doses of the vaccines are also available and recommended only for individuals aged five and older according to the CDC. The timing for getting a booster will also be different depending on your age.

Additionally, when getting your initial COVID-19 shots, the CDC says that you should not mix products when you are getting your primary doses of the vaccine. You can, however, mix vaccine products when it's time to get your booster shots if your primary shots came from a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson (which should be used in limited cases per the CDC, such as if someone has limited access to the other three vaccines). Of note, the other three vaccines are recommended over Johnson & Johnson vaccine and booster doses, and Novavax has not been authorized for booster doses.

Finally, the CDC has a tool where you can find locations that are offering vaccination appointments, and COVID-19 vaccinations are free for those residing in the United States. If you have any concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines, talking with your healthcare provider can help answer any questions you may have.

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