JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just days before losing a battle with COVID-19, a TikTok video creator from Jacksonville made a plea for her viewers to go get vaccinated.
“Don’t wait. Go get it,” Megan Blankenbiller says in the video. “Because hopefully if you get it, you won’t end up in the hospital like me.”
Blankenbiller recorded the video from her hospital bed while she was on oxygen and struggling to talk.
“I did not get vaccinated. I’m not anti-vax. I was just trying to do my research,” Blankenbiller says. “I was scared and I wanted me and my family to all do it at the same time.”
Her sister, Cristina, said less than a week later, Blankenbiller was on a ventilator. Less than two weeks after the video was posted, Blankenbiller died.
Ashley Michaelis and Blankenbiller sang together in a acapella group called the Jax Treblemakers. To her friends and viewers on TikTok, Blankenbiller went by Alex.
“She was one of those people that could absolutely change the energy in a room and light up a room as soon as she walked in,” Michaelis said, holding back tears. “She really made all of our rehearsals fun.”
The video taken during Blakenbiller’s final days have gone viral on social media, getting close to one million views.
Some users have commented that her story inspired them to get their shots.
Her friends and family hope the message is heard.
“I do think it was a mistake,” Blankenbiller says. “I shouldn’t have waited. If you are even 70% sure that you want the vaccine -- go get it.”