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Georgia city councilman urges fellow 'hard-headed conservatives' to take vaccine after COVID brush with death

Before getting seriously ill with COVID, Councilman Jim Sells of Grantville was skeptical of the vaccine.

GRANTVILLE, Ga. — After a near-death experience battling COVID-19, a city councilman in Coweta County says he's had a change of heart.

Before he contracted the virus,  self-proclaimed conservative Grantville councilman Jim Sells said he didn't trust health experts and was skeptical when it came to the vaccine. But then in late July, he tested positive for the virus.

Nearly two weeks later, he was admitted to the hospital with acute respiratory failure. He said he didn't think he would go home again.  

RELATED: Georgia's hospital ICU beds at 95% full, DPH says

"I prayed for recovery, and all my friends prayed, and the doctors and nurses worked on me. I said 'if you can recover from this, you have to change everything," Sells said. "This has to be a life-changer."

After spending 16 days there and seeing COVID kill three people he knew, the councilman vowed he would do all he could to combat misinformation about the vaccine and the virus.

"I'm not going to take this gift from God in the hospital and not try to do something to pass the word to my group of hard-headed conservatives," he said. "You gotta consider the vaccination."

Sells has been out of the hospital for a week now, and said he's feeling about 30% himself, and that he's patiently waiting to get his strength back.

Amid a COVID surge that has brought hospitalizations in Georgia back to their winter surge peaks and stretched the healthcare system thin, the state is urging those who have yet to be vaccinated to now get their shot, which has proven highly effective at preventing serious COVID cases.

The Department of Public Health directs Georgians to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine to find a vaccination location.

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