San Antonio woman lives to regret not being vaccinated with COVID-19 shot, warns others

‘Life-changing experience,’ says 35-year-old single mom of two

SAN ANTONIO – Relying on oxygen to help her breathe, Monique Chavez, a 35-year-old single mother of two, struggled somewhat to say what she believes unvaccinated people need to know.

“I just want to make sure that everybody understands the importance of getting vaccinated,” Chavez said as she laid in bed at University Hospital on Thursday.

Chavez said she didn’t understand until she tested positive for COVID-19, which she believes she contracted at a restaurant.

“This is very serious,” Chavez said. “This is a life-changing experience for me.”

Chavez said it started on July 25 with a fever and shortness of breath. The following Sunday, her symptoms had gotten even worse.

“I knew at that point that I had to call 911 because my life was at risk at that moment,” she said.

In that moment, Chavez tearfully said, she had just one thought.

“My kids, my 13- and 15-year-old, and I would hate for them not to be able to not see their mother again for something that could have been prevented by just getting the shots,” Chavez said.

Chavez said she regrets believing what was on social media and rumors about the side effects of the vaccines.

“That was one of my biggest mistakes,” she said.

Chavez said she should have done more research.

“It’s very important to educate yourself and not based on social media,” she said.

In a sense, Chavez is among the more fortunate. She said she hopes to go home Sunday after only a week in the hospital.

Yet in that time, Chavez said she’s learned there are other unvaccinated patients at University Hospital also in their 30s.

“Hopefully, everybody gets vaccinated to prevent situations like this because it’s very sad,” she said.


LINK: Vaccine coverage, resources page

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.