A Cardiff, Wales resident, whose mother, father, and brother died of COVID-19 within one week of each other, is now urging the public to get vaccinated against the virus. The instance, tragically, is far from isolated, as COVID-19 patients and their families are increasingly expressing their regret over not getting vaccinated–meanwhile, experts warn that “vaccine hesitancy” is a pressing issue to be grappled with in the fight against the virus.

WalesOnline reports that Francis Goncalves’ family in Portugal had rejected the vaccine because of “misinformation” and fear.

The 43-year old explained to the news site that his father went to hospital for kidney stones on July 6. We believe he got COVID there. My parents had dinner on Thursday, July 8 at my brother’s apartment. He shares it with his girlfriend. They felt very sick that weekend.

Basil, 73 and Charmagne, 65 were admitted to hospital by July 10. Basil was transferred to the ICU two days later.

Goncalves was preparing to fly to Portugal despite restrictions on travel. He struggled to stay in touch with his family. He explained that he spoke with his brother daily and couldn’t reach his father ….. “It was difficult for me to get in touch with him in a country where I don’t know the language.”

“Meanwhile, my brother’s mucus had changed to brown from green. I advised him to be careful as this could indicate pneumonia.” Goncalves added. “He began to deteriorate and I was able to communicate with him that I knew there was something wrong.

At 1 a.m. on July 18, Goncalves’ brother Shaul had died. Goncalves described him as the “healthiest” person and the news was shocking. He was walking a lot, even if he wasn’t running or going to the gym. He had not drunk for 15 years and was on a whole-foods, plant-based diet.” he stated.

Goncalves’ parents also suffered rapid declines, his father dying July 20, and his mother suffering from the illness July 24, respectively.

A week later, all three relatives were buried together in Libson, in a section for COVID-related death.

Goncalves described his family as “small but close” and said that the loss was beyond devastating. He told WalesOnline, “I was proud of my family and I am still proud of them.”

He is now speaking out about his experience to encourage others to get vaccinated. It preys on those who are afraid, and they fall for the trap. What is the purpose of giving you a vaccine to protect you? Is there a purpose to it? “I’ve talked to many people who are afraid of the vaccine. It can also cause serious health problems.

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Goncalves’ experience is not unique. Many COVID patients have expressed regret at their vaccine hesitancy in recent weeks.

Unvaccinated 28-year old man from Georgia died of COVID-19. His wife, who had only received one shot, survived. “He was deep into TikTok conspiracy theories and, for him, he just didn’t want to get [the shot],” said the 25-year-old widow. After becoming ill, she said he had changed his stance on the vaccine, wishing he had gotten it.

A 22-year old New Orleans boy died Friday from COVID-19. He was unvaccinated, despite his mother’s pleas. Talk to your children. His mother told a news outlet that she would not stop asking her children to get vaccinated.

Our World in Data shows that only 30.2 percent have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. These percentages can vary from country to country. Wealthier countries have higher vaccination rates. Only 1.1 percent of low-income people had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination as of August 9.