Those who can't get COVID vaccine hope others will step up to keep them safe

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- Getting enough people vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect the broader population and to reduce transmission has been an ongoing challenge. But for some, it's a matter of life and death.

"Until we reach herd immunity, I don't think I'm going to be safe," said Danielle Nykaza.

Although Nykaza wants the COVID vaccine, she can't get one, on doctor's orders, after having a severe reaction as a baby to getting immunized.

"They were never able to figure out what happened, and so the doctors said you just need to never vaccinate her with anything," she said.

But over the years, the 37-year-old Elgin native has been surrounded by family and friends who are fully immunized, and also vaccinated against COVID. Still, with all her precautions including asking and mostly staying at home, Nykaza for COVID last week.

She's appealing for people who are still holding out against getting the vaccine to change their mind and get the shot for the safety of others.

"When did we stop caring about humanity in general?" she wondered. "This isn't just about me, me, me. This is about all of us."

"Here's someone who really wants to get vaccinated but today just can't," said AMITA Health family physician Dr. Reinhold Llerena. "It's probably our duty to vaccinate ourselves so we can protect everyone around us."

Llena also said in the near future Nykaza will be referred to a specialist to hopefully find out what caused her severe reaction as a baby, and to see if one day she can actually get a vaccine.
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