The mother of a hospitalized 13-year-old in Arkansas said she regrets not getting her daughter vaccinated.
Angela Morris told KTHV she had "a false sense of security" and thought the virus "was just like the flu."
But her daughter has been on a ventilator for days as the highly transmissible Delta variant ravages the state.
The mother of a 13-year-old girl who has spent days in the hospital on a ventilator with COVID-19 is warning other parents to take the virus - and vaccinations - seriously.
Angela Morris of Arkansas said she chose not to get herself or her daughter vaccinated, thinking other preventative measures like social distancing and wearing masks would protect them from the virus.
"I just had a false sense of security that it was just like the flu and it wasn't that serious," Morris told CBS affiliate KTHV. "Obviously it is that serious and it was that serious. Now, I can see."
Morris' 13-year-old daughter Caia tested positive for COVID-19 on July 1. Two days later, she was fighting for her life on a ventilator at Arkansas Children's Hospital, according to posts on Morris' Facebook profile.
"It's very hard to see her in this situation. It's very hard not knowing if she's really going to come home anymore or not," Morris told KTHV. "It's heartbreaking. I wish I would've made better choices for her."
Morris blamed "misinformation" on her decision not to get herself or Caia vaccinated.
Morris did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Less than 45% of Arkansas' population has received at least one vaccine dose, and just 35% of residents are fully vaccinated, Insider previously reported, despite all residents over the age of 12 being eligible to receive the vaccine in the state.
The low vaccination rates have made Arkansas the country's new epicenter for the highly transmissible Delta variant. Data compiled by Scripps Research's Outbreak.info tracker suggests that Delta may account for more than 80% of Arkansas' new coronavirus infections, among the highest shares of Delta infections in the country.
Dr. Jessica Snowden, Arkansas Children's Hospital Chief of Infectious Diseases, told KTHV they are seeing more sick children amidst the spread of Delta.
"We've had perfectly healthy children who end up in the hospital, in the ICU, with COVID-19 infection," she said. "So it is definitely something that could impact anyone."
While the age of patients the hospital is treating varies, Snowden told the outlet there was one thing they all had in common.
"All of the children we have admitted who are seriously sick with COVID-19 are either too young to get vaccinated, or haven't been vaccinated yet," she said.
After watching her daughter be intubated following 13 days on a ventilator, Morris said she hopes other parents won't make her same mistake.
"I just want people to get their kids their shots. Everybody just needs to get the shot. It's a much better route than the one we're in," she told KTHV.
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