The Talk co-host and fitness star Amanda Kloots has obtained her first coronavirus vaccine more than seven months after losing her husband to the deadly virus, and defended herself amid accusations of skipping the line to get the jab.
Broadway actor Nick Cordero, the father of her 20-month-old son Elvis, died of COVID-19 complications at age 41 last July at a Los Angeles medical center. Kloots, who posted almost daily Instagram Story vlogs and inspired fans with her supportive dance videos recorded outside the hospital during his entire three-month stay, made her way to a drive-thru coronavirus vaccine distribution site on Friday, Feb. 19, with their son and two friends to get her first shot.
"I just got my COVID 19 vaccine!" she wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of herself wearing a mask while sitting in a vehicle as a masked healthcare worker administers the vaccine through a window. "I went to a site and waited in my car until all appointments were over in hopes that they had any extra vaccines. I was fully prepared to be turned away, but they said they had enough tonight for everyone waiting."
She continued, "I cannot tell you how emotional I was and still am right now. I had Elvis beside me and Live Your Life playing in the car. THANK YOU to the National Guard that was here today volunteering since 5:30am administering the Pfizer vaccine to willing arms. I have been terrified since Nick has passed, as a single mother, of getting this virus and now I am one step closer to safety."
In Los Angeles, only essential workers and people over 65 are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. However, over the past couple of months, scores of people all over the United States who do not meet formal eligibility requirements and are dubbed "COVID-19 vaccine chasers" have flocked to distribution sites to ask for any leftover doses—which would have expired soon otherwise.
Kloots' post was met with a lot of praise, including from Emily in Paris actress Ashley Park who called her a "role model, an incredible mother, and a diligent citizen." But her photo initially did not contain her caption in which she explained how she obtained the vaccine, and she later added it after she received criticism. Many people questioned how she, a seemingly healthy 38 year old, qualified for one and some accused her of having "celebrity privilege."
Kloots replied, "Please explain to me how driving to a site 45 min away from my home, waiting in my car with my son who should be in bed, staying there until all appointments for the day are finished and then asking if there are any extra vaccines that would otherwise have to go unused is celebrity privilege?"
She added, "I am a relentless single mother who is terrified of this virus and leaving my boy so I try every which way I can, happy to be turned away if need be, to receive a vaccine that would otherwise be thrown out."
Kloots also posted an Instagram Story, saying, firmly and emotionally, "I knew that I could possibly be turned away, but I drove, and I waited in a line in the hopes that at the end of the day, at the end of appointments, they may have extra vaccines that would otherwise be thrown out. And instead of being thrown out, they were put into an arm. An arm of a surviving single mother that deserves to have an extra vaccine that would have been thrown in the trash."
"So, sorry that I am getting a little emotional, but this was a very emotional experience for me," she said. "I was perfectly fine being turned away tonight if that was the case. I was actually prepared to be turned away. I was giving it a shot, and luckily the shot worked and they had availability and they were happy to have people there waiting with willing arms. And I was happy to be one of those willing arms. So please, please do not vaccine-shame me on my photo after this day where I am so grateful to have this first step in getting vaccinated against this virus."