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Vaccine Skeptic That Wrote “I Got 99 Problems but a Vax Ain’t One,” Dies of COVID-19

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Stephen Harmon was known for regularly making fun of the COVID-19 vaccine on social media. He openly criticized the Biden Administration’s plan to go “door-to-door” to increase vaccine administration rates. However, his tone changed when he came down with the disease. He shared photos from his hospital bed, where he was placed on a ventilator.

Harmon is one of many anti-vaxxers that have shared their experience after getting sick with COVID-19. It’s just a shame they didn’t get the vaccine before the damage was already done.

Forgoing the Vaccine

Harmon passed away on Wednesday at Corona Regional Medical Center in California. He was perhaps best known for his June 3rd post on social media where he said he had 99 problems, but the “vax” wasn’t one of them, a parody of Jay-Z’s song “99 Problems”.

In another post, he wrote, “Biden’s door to door vaccine ‘surveyors’ really should be called JaCovid Witnesses. #keepmovingdork.”

Just a month later, Harmon was in the hospital with pneumonia as a result of COVID-19, according to his social media posts. After getting sick, he continued to refuse the vaccine, writing that he was “anti-vax” but “pro information.”

“I’m not against it, I’m just not in a rush to get it. Ironically, as I continue to lay here…in my covid ward isolation room fighting off the virus and pneumonia,” he wrote on Instagram on July 8th.

He also said he wouldn’t get the vaccine even after he recovered from the disease. That recovery never happened.

Three days before his death, he posted an updated on his condition, writing “If you don’t have faith that God can heal me over your stupid ventilator then keep the Hell out of my ICU room, there’s no room in here for fear or lack of faith!”

“Don’t know when I’ll wake up, please pray,” he added. Soon after his death, his account on Instagram was made private.

Did His Faith Get in the Way?

It’s not clear what was fueling Harmon’s distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine. He was a member of the multinational Hillsong Church chapter in Los Angeles, California, which is based in Australia.

Founder Brian Houston posted a tribute to Harmon shortly after his death. “He was one of the most generous people I know, and he had so much in front of him. He would always turn up to our grandkids’ soccer games and he will be missed by so many,” he wrote on Instagram.

Houston was also quick to defend Harmon’s refusal to get vaccinated. “While many of our staff, leadership and congregation have already received the Covid-19 vaccine, we recognize this is a personal decision for each individual to make with the counsel of medical professionals,” Houston’s statement reads.

He also said, “Any loss of life is a moment to mourn and offer support to those who are suffering and so our heartfelt prayers are with his family and those who loved him.”

“As a church, our focus is on the spiritual well-being of the people in each of our local communities. On any medical issue, we strongly encourage those in our church to follow the guidance of their doctors,” Houston added.

Houston, 67, has since deleted many of the posts from this month, including his tribute to Harmon.

Dr. Oren Friedman treated Harmon in the COVID-19 ward at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He called Harmon’s death “unbelievably demoralizing” and that almost exclusively the people that are now dying of the disease are unvaccinated.

“Virtually every single person that is getting sick enough to be admitted to the hospital has not been vaccinated,” Dr. Friedman said over the weekend.

Health experts say we are racing towards a fourth wave of the pandemic as the delta variant spreads among the unvaccinated. Hotspots are emerging throughout California, the Midwest, and Southern states like Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Encourage your patients to get vaccinated before it’s too late.

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

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