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Fort Myers mom shares story of Covid-19 as 13-year-old son battles virus

Posted at 10:48 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 22:48:57-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Fort Myers mom is sharing her story about her family’s experience with Covid-19.

For Melissa Malone, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 was a no brainer. But when it came to her 13-year-old son Preston, that was another question. Her 13-year-old son contracted the virus and the family is now dealing with the virus at home.

“I just felt like they’re young, they’re healthy, they don’t really have the underlying conditions that would put them at high risk," said Malone. "So my husband and I made the decision together that we were not going to vaccinate him at this time."

But now, Preston is battling Covid-19.

“He literally started school and it was like within the first week he’s already positive for Covid,” Malone said.

Malone says she waited to have her son vaccinated after hearing the U.K. paused vaccinating teens due to a rare but serious side effect called myocarditis. It’s a rare side effect occurring in young men with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But it’s also caused by Covid-19.

“Seeing how sick he was with this virus, I would have absolutely done it," says Malone. "I feel like the risks of the vaccine for the teens that it’s currently approved for is so much lower than the potential risks that could result due to this illness.”

“You have to weigh the pros versus the cons.”

Dr. Shadreka McIntosh is the owner of Sozo Wellness Pharmacy in Dunbar. She says her clinic has been administering vaccines for a month and have delivered more than 100 shots. The benefits, she says, should be weighed versus the risk.

“You always pick up and hear about side effects but what you want to look at is how relevant those things are in the general population," says Dr. McIntosh. "Tylenol has side effects but how often do you see somebody really experiencing serious, long lasting effects from that.”

This comes at a time when testing is at an all-time high, with some places fully booked. The best method, as McIntosh says, is to get vaccinated.

“The way to go is vaccination and continuing to exercise all of our universal precautions such as the masking and washing hands and social distancing," she says. "Putting all of those tools together that we have now, I think that’s the best thing we can do. If you don’t really need to be tested because of the demand right now, let’s just try to reserve that for those that need to be tested that may be symptomatic or exposed.”

“I hope that anybody that sees this," says Malone. "I hope they really take it seriously and they consider getting vaccinated.”

If you or someone you know would like to be tested or vaccinated against Covid-19, you can find more information online right here.