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California man who contracted COVID-19 says he now regrets not getting vaccinated earlier

Posted at 10:13 AM, May 10, 2021

CARLSBAD, Calif. — A Carlsbad man says his ongoing battle with COVID-19 has changed his mind about getting vaccinated against the virus.

Robin Banks, 27, said he first felt symptoms last Friday night.

“Slight headache. Didn’t think much of it,” Banks said.

Over the next few days, the headache got worse.

“Felt like I had a metal clamp on my head. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t really see, hear, eat. Couldn’t move my body,” Banks said.

He said he got a fever and started having trouble breathing.

“Realizing I couldn't really take deep breaths. Felt like a weight on my chest,” Banks said. “One of the worst feelings I've had — ever.”

Banks was bedridden for nearly four days before he started feeling a little better Wednesday. He went to a hospital and tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive test came three weeks after Banks qualified to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I didn’t really know much about it, so I thought, maybe wait a little bit and see how that goes,” Banks said.

Banks says he was hesitant about getting the vaccine.

“To me, it seemed really rushed. It seemed like there could be a lot of effects that happened in the future, and we don't know about it. That scared me in getting it,” Banks said.

Banks, who runs and works out every day, also wasn't too worried about contracting COVID-19, though he has taken all the precautions in his work as a handyman.

"Me believing I’m young and strong and in great shape…that it wouldn't affect me this way. It’s not true,” he said.

While he doesn’t know how much protection he would have had if he had received a vaccine weeks ago — and while his vaccine concerns haven't gone away — he now plans to get a vaccine when he’s recovered.

“I do regret not getting the vaccine earlier. I wouldn’t want to go through what I’m going through right now, and any step towards ending this virus is a good step,” Banks said.

This story was originally published by Michael Chen on Scripps station KGTV in San Diego.