Local woman battling cancer and COVID-19 says vaccine saved her life


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A local woman says her COVID-19 vaccine saved her life. Cynthia Munoz says she has been battling breast cancer and COVID-19 at the same time. She says she may not be alive today if she hadn’t taken the shot. Munoz says she’s been undergoing chemotherapy for the last three years.

“I have breast cancer,” said Munoz. “I’m taking an oral chemo for the next ten years, so I’m immunocompromised.”

She says she tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

“I was vaccinated but I got really sick because I have comorbidities,” said Munoz. “I had never felt so sick in my life. Can you imagine the people that aren’t vaccinated?”

The Kern Public Health Department says severe breakthrough cases like hers are rare. Fewer than one percent of fully-vaccinated Kern residents catch the virus … and even fewer end up in the hospital. Munoz wasn’t admitted to the hospital, but was treated with monoclonal antibodies at Adventist Health. She was discharged later that day.

“They told me at the hospital ‘good thing you were vaccinated. If you weren’t vaccinated, with your comorbidities, you would have been on a ventilator right now,'” said Munoz. “I wouldn’t be here.”

She says her experience with COVID-19 was worse than chemotherapy.

“I would never wish COVID on my worst enemy,” said Munoz. “With COVID, I felt like I was gonna die. With chemo, I brushed right through it. I was a fighter.”

Munoz says she wants more people to get COVID-19 shots.

“I’m immunocompromised so I was one of the first people to get vaccinated. I didn’t waste any time,” said Munoz. “I’m not trying to die here.”

Medical experts say at least 70% of Americans need to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity, stopping the spread of the virus. If you want to make an appointment to get your shot, visit the state’s website.

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