Amanda Kloots Gets the COVID Vaccine After Husband's Death, Slams Backlash: 'Do Not Vaccine-Shame Me'
Amanda Kloots is not letting anyone criticize her for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The fitness instructor — whose husband Nick Cordero died in July after contracting the virus and spending more than 90 days in the hospital — posted a series of videos on her Instagram Story on Friday, shortly after sharing photos of herself getting the vaccine.
In Los Angeles, only essential workers and people over 65 years old are currently eligible to book appointments for the vaccine. Her photo prompted a backlash from followers who accused her of jumping the line.
"I just got back from getting the vaccine and I am so emotional right now, but I have to address some things that I'm seeing on my recent post, which starts with this: First of all, vaccine shaming should not happen. Everyone should be getting this vaccine, and anyone that gets it, we should be celebrating that one more person has got the vaccine," The Talk host, 38, said.
Kloots had posted a photo earlier in the night of herself smiling through her mask as she received the vaccine at a drive-thru clinic.
"I just got my COVID 19 vaccine! 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," she wrote in her caption, which has since been updated. "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.
A rep for the fitness instructor did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health did not immediately address PEOPLE's inquiry about the availability of excess vaccines.
The host later updated her caption to address the accusations that she had got the vaccination out of turn.
"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. I cannot tell you how emotional I was and still am right now," the update read.
On her Instagram Story, she further explained how she got her first dose. Kloots will require a second dose for the vaccine to be fully effective.
"I knew that I could possibly be turned away, but I drove [there], 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," she said, with tears in her eyes. "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."
She continued, "So, sorry that I am getting a little emotional, but this was a very emotional experience for me. 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."
Cordero died at age 41 in early July after spending more than three months in the intensive care unit at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for complications related to COVID-19.
During his 95 days in the hospital, 42 of which were spent in a medically induced coma, the Broadway star faced a series of unpredictable complications that led to septic shock and required him to have his right leg amputated.
RELATED VIDEO: Amanda Kloots Details Late Husband Nick Cordero's Final Moments in Hospital: It's Still Fresh in My Memory
"Find the lessons from each day so you can learn and grow," she captioned a photoshopped photo of the family of three walking away from the camera in an empty field. "What I've learned this year... Don't wish time away. Time is precious. Make every day count."
"Be grateful for every day here on this Earth," she added. "Be grateful for all the blessings you have. Take that family photo. Say I love you. Make the phone call. Forgive. Pray and believe. Get back up again. Take one day at a time."
In October, the mother of one opened up to PEOPLE about how their son helps her deal with her grief at the loss of Cordero.
"Thank God I have a little piece of my husband," she said of Elvis. "Anytime I'm sad, he brightens my mood in two seconds. He looks at me with his big smile and his little teeth, and I'm instantly transported into a different mood."
The AK! Fitness founder added that she can already see similarities between Elvis and his dad.
"He is calm and cool and gets along with everybody. I think that's very much Nick," she said. "We have this beautiful little boy that we created together. I love watching him grow, and I know Nick is watching him too."
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