The Talk co-host Amanda Kloots, whose husband Nick Cordero died from complications of the coronavirus in July, had to defend herself after getting the COVID-19 vaccine at a Los Angeles medical center Friday. Kloots, 38, does not meet California's current requirements for receiving the vaccine, but she still received one because the center she went to had leftover vaccines. Instagram users quickly lashed out at Kloots, with some accusing her of "celebrity privilege."
On Friday, Kloots shared a photo of herself getting the vaccine administered by a healthcare worker at a drive-thru vaccine distribution center. In the caption, Kloots explained that she drove to the center, hoping there would be remaining doses of the Pfizer vaccine after all appointments were over. "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," Kloots wrote, adding that her son Elvis was in the car. She also had Live Your Life, Cordero's posthumously released album, playing in the car.
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"THANK YOU to the National Guard that was here today volunteering since 5:30 a.m. administering the Pfizer vaccine to willing arms," Kloots continued. "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. Thank you to my friends [laurencpresent] and [thompoint0] for driving and being by my side."
In Los Angeles, only essential workers and residents over 65 are eligible to schedule appointments for a vaccine, notes E! News. However, people in California and elsewhere have been able to get a vaccine even if they do not meet local requirements because medical centers might have leftover vaccine doses that need to be used before they expire. People driving to centers to get leftover doses have been nicknamed "COVID-19 vaccine chasers." Some accused Kloots of doing just that.
One person accused her of using "celebrity privilege" to get her vaccine. "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?" Kloots responded. "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 only added the caption to her vaccination photo after receiving criticism. She also shared a video on her Instagram Story to defend herself. Kloots said she knew she could have been turned away. However, the center she went to had leftover vaccine doses that would have otherwise been thrown out. "Instead of being thrown out, they were put into an arm," Kloots said. "An arm of a surviving single mother that deserves to have an extra vaccine that would have been thrown in the trash."
The fitness instructor called this a "very emotional experience" for herself and would have been "perfectly fine" if she was turned away Friday. "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."