Another US woman afraid to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for fear that it would affect her fertility has died of the disease. Samantha Wendell, a 29-year-old surgical technician from Grand Rivers, Ky., was laid to rest earlier this month in a ceremony at an Illinois church where she'd planned to marry her fiance in late August, before falling ill, reports the Louisville Courier Journal. Family members tells NBC News that Wendell delayed getting the vaccine because she and her fiance wanted to start a family and she'd heard baseless claims that the vaccine would cause fertility issues.
"She was worried about her fertility. Misinformation killed her," Maria Vibandor Hayes wrote on Facebook on Sept. 11, describing how she'd had to say goodbye to her cousin over FaceTime. The CDC says "there is currently no evidence" that vaccine ingredients or antibodies produced as a result of the vaccine "cause any problems with becoming pregnant now or in the future" and recommends all eligible people get it, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant. It notes some women even became pregnant after taking part in vaccine trials.
Wendell ultimately had a change of heart and scheduled vaccine appointments for herself and fiance Austin Eskew at the end of July, in anticipation of a honeymoon in Mexico, per the Washington Post. But before the appointments came, Wendell traveled to Nashville, Tenn., for her bachelorette party. Back home, she developed a persistent cough. She was hospitalized within a week of testing positive for COVID-19, then placed on a ventilator on Aug. 16, five days before she'd hoped to wed her partner of 10 years in the same church where her parents tied the knot.
Her mother tells NBC that Wendell asked for a vaccine before being put on the ventilator, but "it wasn't going to do any good at that point, obviously." "Please consider getting vaccinated for I would never want any family or friends to endure what is happening to my niece right now and to her family and friends," Denise Picicci, Wendell’s aunt, wrote on Facebook on Aug. 31, per the Post. "No one can visit, no one to hold her hand and talk to her and give her encouragement to fight this." She never regained the ability to breathe on her own and died Sept. 10. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)