As the Delta variant of COVID-19 surges, health experts agree that the best way to stem the surge of the pandemic and protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated against the virus. Many people remain hesitant about the vaccine, though, in part thanks to misinformation that has spread wildly across social media. Some are also hesitant because of individual stories they've heard about the vaccine's side effects, including one which recently went viral on TikTok.
Who is Queen City Dom on TikTok?
Queen City Dom, or Dominique, is a TikTok user from North Carolina who has more than 220,000 followers on the platform. She's recently gone viral after sharing what she says are the severe adverse side effects she's experienced since receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The video currently has more than 10 million views.
In the video, Dominique can be seen struggling to walk, and you also see footage of her spending time in the hospital. In voiceover narration, Dominique explains that she believes the COVID vaccine is responsible for her illness. “I’ve been hiding a lot and not showing exactly what this has done to me, but I’m done hiding, and I’m done being scared,” she said.
“There are several stories like mine, the same doctors that told us this was safe, and the same doctors that were pushing us off as if we didn’t matter," she said. "It is now time that we are heard, seen and believed.”
In the caption to the post, Dominique added: “There are countless stories like mine. We trusted science and now live in a never-ending nightmare.”
The vaccine may not be the cause of Dominique's symptoms.
Dominique also shared her story on a personal website, and in her post there, she clarified that her story is unique to her, but said that she's had other people reach out since she first shared her story on Instagram in July to offer words of encouragement or support. She also says that she's heard similar stories from others who have reached out to her.
Although Dominique's story is undoubtedly tragic, and her symptoms seem incredibly severe, it is worth noting that she is still looking for the cause behind them. She says that they began in the two weeks after she received her vaccine, but it has not yet been determined whether vaccination was the cause of her symptoms.
For most people taking the vaccine, the side effects are a sore arm, aches, tiredness, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. The adverse reaction that Dominique is experiencing has not been definitively connected to the vaccine. Dominique's story is enormously sympathetic, but it shouldn't change the reality that for most people, getting the vaccine is the best way to ensure that they and their families are protected against severe illness as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to stories like Dominique's, there's also plenty of disinformation about the vaccine circulating online. TikTok even put a warning on Dominique's video, assuring users who watch it that for most people the vaccine is incredibly safe and effective.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Thorough hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask or cloth facial covering are also extremely important. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.