‘If I get COVID I’m not going to live’: Local heart transplant recipient on getting booster shot

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester resident Jackie Fields says she’s grateful for an added layer of immunity, after getting the COVID-19 booster shot.

She is in the immunosuppressed population, after undergoing a heart transplant in 2017.

“I had a heart transplant, my heart failed because of sarcoidosis, there was nothing else wrong with me I was very active, didn’t have high blood pressure or anything,” Fields said. “I went to Rochester General and they sent me to Cleveland Clinic for the transplant. Came back here and have been doing really well since then.”

But her concerns are far from over. For Fields, contracting COVID-19 is a matter of life or death.

“If I get COVID-19, I’m not going to live,” Fields said. “The statistics are not great.”

Long before the pandemic started, wearing a mask and social distancing were nothing new to Fields.

Her immunity is extremely low from the surgery, making it easier for her to catch viruses and disease. If she does get sick, it can take months to recover.

“It takes forever to recover,” Fields said. “Two years ago I got a cold and it took my two years to recover from the cold.”

Now, with the delta variant dominating infection rates, she’s worried about those who aren’t vaccinated.

Health officials say those fully vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do become infected with COVID-19. So Fields is urging anyone who hasn’t gotten the shot yet — consider again.

“My body just cant fight this stuff,” Fields said. “Get the shots, get the vaccine, because you know, it’s not just for yourself its for everybody else.”

Fields received the Moderna vaccine for all three shots. She believes the side effects for all remained minimal apart from a very sore arm.

In Monroe County, about 60% of the population, ages 12 and up is fully vaccinated.

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