Millions of Americans are now fully vaccinated against COVID, approximately 18.5 percent, in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though eligibility requirements are expanding across the country, millions more are still eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get the vaccine, and that includes Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. They were two of the first celebrities to confirm they had COVID in March 2020, and now, they’re among the many U.S. citizens who have yet to get their vaccination. Wilson, who was the co-host on Today on Friday, April 2 with Hoda Kotb, opened up about why she and her husband haven’t been vaccinated yet. Read on to learn what Wilson said, and for another celebrity sharing their vaccine experience, check out Oprah Just Revealed the 3 Side Effects She Had From the COVID Vaccine.
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks were “not old enough” to get the COVID vaccine in California.
Wilson and Hanks, who are both 64, were not eligible to get vaccinated in the state of California, where they live primarily, due to eligibility restrictions. “We haven’t gotten our vaccine yet. How about hearing this for the first time in your life—’You’re not old enough,'” she said as she virtually filled in for Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager. “It’s like, ‘OK, I’ll take that.'”
Wilson admitted that the pandemic has sparked a wide array of feelings for her and Hanks. “It’s been so emotional,” she said.
And for more vaccine news that could affect you, check out This One Vaccine May Protect You Against All Variants, New Study Says.
But the celebrity couple is eligible to get vaccinated as of today, April 5.
“We are in line now because so many people are vaccinated and they’re opening up to the next tier,” said Wilson, who just missed the cut-off at 64. Only “people with a high chance of exposure and those 65 or older” were allowed to get the COVID jab in California until recently.
As of April 5, however, she and Hanks are now eligible, along with all Californians 50 and up. Vaccine appointments can currently be scheduled for anyone with “high chance of exposure, high-risk, and those 50 or older,” the state’s website reads.
By mid-April, anyone 16 and up will be able to get vaccinated against COVID in the Golden State.
And for more COVID vaccine news, check out Be Prepared for This the Night You Get Your COVID Vaccine, Doctors Warn.
Thankfully, Wilson and Hanks already have antibodies.
Wilson and Hanks, who were diagnosed with COVID in Australia in March 2020, don’t appear to be too anxious as they hopefully still have antibodies from when they fell ill with the virus. “When we found out we had antibodies… that was extraordinary because you knew you had some protection,” Wilson explained. She admitted that seeing people hugging each other, especially their parents and grandparents, for the first time in a year is “truly a gift.”
On March 7, Wilson shared an informative post to Instagram remembering her first symptoms of COVID after playing the Sydney Opera House a year earlier. Recalling how she had been hospitalized just days after the performance, Wilson said she and her husband are “grateful” for their health. “We share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus. I’m hopeful for so many being able to get the vaccine,” she wrote in the post.
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Hanks previously said he and Wilson would get the vaccine “after everyone who truly needs it.”
In Dec. 2020, Hanks told Today host Savannah Guthrie that both he and his wife wouldn’t be rushing to get vaccinated against COVID. After Guthrie questioned whether he was “excited” about the vaccine, the actor said, “We’ll be getting it long after everyone who truly needs it get it.” He even said he’d be open to publicly getting the shot to help instill trust in the vaccine.
He also confirmed that he and his wife have continued to wear masks because they don’t want to be asymptomatic carriers and unknowingly spread the virus to others.
And for more on how to prepare for your shot, check out This Common Medication Can Make Your Vaccine Less Effective, Study Says.