A mum-of-three who admitted to being a ‘complete anti-vaxxer’ says she’s changed her views after she contracted coronavirus twice.
Saja Ali said she wanted to speak out to encourage people who haven’t had a vaccine jab to get on, after she fell severely ill in February last year.
The married student from Didsbury said she was wary of having the jab “because of what she had read”.
Coronavirus floored the 31-year-old for four weeks and also caused her dad to spend 11 days in hospital fighting the virus.
After recovering, she got both her vaccines.
Saja tested positive for Covid again just before Christmas, but says she believes the vaccine has prevented her falling really poorly again.
She told the Manchester Evening News : “A lot of people are still claiming the vaccine doesn’t work.
“I think those who have caught Covid more than once should speak out to raise awareness.
“The vaccine does work and does prevent worse symptoms.
“I was a complete anti-vaxxer until I got Covid-19 really, really badly back in February.
“I had it again and I honestly felt normal and fine. I am 100 per cent and I believe it’s due to the double vaccine I got.”
Speaking as cases surge nationally as Omicron sweeps the country, Saja added: “From my perspective, the vaccine has definitely worked.”
Saja told how she contracted coronavirus for the first time in February 2021.
“I had not been jabbed,” she said. “I was proper against it back then.
“For me, it was all because it was new. It was a new vaccine and I was hearing a lot of conspiracy theories.
“At the time my husband was also really against it. I did not think twice about not having a jab.
“Then I got it really, really bad.”
Saja said she was bed-bound for three weeks and didn’t leave home for a month.
“It was awful,” she said. “It was really, really bad.
“Luckily I did not need hospital treatment because there was nothing wrong with my lungs and breathing.
“It totally changed my mind. A week later my dad caught Covid and needed hospital treatment.
“We were prepared for the worst with him. He was in hospital for 11 days and needed help.
“It made me think. I have three kids and it just made me realise. I believed what people were saying but I felt regret at not having the jab.”
Saja immediately got her jabs and is now waiting for a booster.
Like millions of others across the country, she tested positive just before Christmas and isolated.
But, she said, the symptoms, were nothing like they were when she initially caught the virus.
“I did not feel as ill this time. I believe that it was purely down to the vaccine.
“I felt a bit tired but nothing to stop me doing what I would normally do in a day. It was nothing like it was back in February.
“I don’t want it to come across as being offensive, but I do not want people to take a chance.
“I believe the vaccine won’t stop people from being poorly, but it will help prevent you from falling really ill and needing hospital treatment.”