KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Carla Mann was hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine until her brother's death changed her mind.
Mann's older brother, Steven Umardeen, died from the virus in February.
"I just never thought that he was going to die from it," Mann said.
At 53, Umardeen's death was a shock for his sister.
The life-altering moment also changed Mann's views on vaccinations. At 51, she said she had never received the flu shot and didn't plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I just felt like I was just healthy enough to where I didn't need to take it," Mann said. "My immune system is strong. I take my vitamins. I mean, this is what I'm thinking in my head."
But her brother's death inspired her to get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"I'm so happy, and I literally put it on Facebook that I did this in honor of him," Mann said.
The only side effect she had was some arm soreness that quickly went away.
As more Americans continue to die from COVID-19, Mann's message to others who are resistant to getting vaccinated is to roll up their sleeves and get the shot to avoid the pain she's experienced.
"I don't want anybody to have to go through that, watching their family member pass away. That is devastating," Mann said.