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Sacramento woman urges hesitant people to get vaccinated after losing her husband to COVID-19

Mia Ponte Vinnard was not interested in getting vaccinated. Now, she hopes others will consider it to avoid the tragedy of losing a loved one.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After losing her husband to the coronavirus, Mia Ponte Vinnard from Sacramento had a message for those who remained hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine: please get vaccinated.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there and we just wanted to see how it affected people before we decided to get it," Vinnard said. "But we didn’t do it in time-- we didn’t think about it until it was too late at that point."

She and her husband Brad Vinnard, who was known to friends and family as "Bradster," hesitated to get vaccinated, Vinnard said, because the issue had been so politicized. She said she hoped others would consider it to avoid the tragedy of losing a loved one. 

"One of his last posts on Facebook was ‘please go get vaccinated, this is nothing nice,'" Vinnard said. "And then he asked me, ‘honey, please go tell our friends to go get vaccinated. Show them the picture of me in here and tell them they don’t want to be where I'm at right now." 

Brad Vinnard died on Saturday, July 17. He was 68 years old, a salesman and an avid motorcyclist. 

"He was very loved by a lot of people," Vinnard said. "We just went on a lot of adventures, exploring new places and being with like-minded people." 

Vinnard believes her husband caught COVID-19 while at a party. Soon after, she contracted the virus as well. 

She said she planned on getting vaccinated herself in 90 days, the recommended timeline for those who have recovered from the coronavirus. 

After losing her husband, Vinnard's mission was to continue to sway others to get the coronavirus vaccine, the way she wished someone would have persuaded her.  She said she had already changed some minds.

"We have a large community of fellow biker people and now they realize that it’s really real," she said. "It really has left a huge void in our life, and we won't ever forget him and I want to keep his memory alive by keeping people alive. That’s my message."

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