Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Alyssa Milano
Fourteen months after she got COVID-19, Alyssa Milano is still dealing with long-haul symptoms. And after the virus "impacted every part" of her health, she wants others to get vaccinated and avoid the same lengthy fight that she's dealt with every day for the last year.
Milano, 48, is sharing her experience with COVID-19 and encouraging people to get vaccinated in a new PSA she made with the Creative Coalition.
"I knew that it was something that I wanted to be involved in, because I don't see how there's going to be an end to this if we don't get people vaccinated — and that's not only the people in our country but people throughout the world," she tells PEOPLE. "So, if I can take my experience from having COVID and be able to turn it around and help people, I'm all for it."
In the PSA, Milano talks about how she wishes that the vaccines "had been around before so many of us had gotten sick," but that it is here now and available, for free, to anyone aged 12 and up in the U.S.
The Charmed star says that she's still experiencing shortness of breath, heart palpitations, brain fog, exhaustion and "aches and pains that feel like they're on a skeletal level," most days.
"I'm done with fighting it, so I've kind of just almost surrendered to the idea that this might be how I feel now for the rest of my life," she says. "But I try to rest more and drink lots of water and take my supplements and do the best that I can."
"I do think that there was some improvement, although it's not that anything was completely alleviated," she says. "It just felt like less of everything."
Milano emphasizes that other people who had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated.
"I just got my second shot on Thursday, and I had some chills and aches and pains, but it's a lot less than actually suffering from COVID," she says. "There's just so much that we still don't know, and with the variants and the different ways that COVID can mutate, it could cause another shutdown. The vaccine is completely safe for people who have had COVID and I think it's really important that everyone, including those who have had COVID, get vaccinated."
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And as the U.S. begins to open up again, Milano hopes that people will "be safe and be careful."
"This virus is like nothing I've ever experienced in my life and impacted every part of my health, from my mental health to my physical health," she says. "In order to avoid that happening to you or people that you love, please get vaccinated and please once vaccinated follow your state guidelines and protocol, and keep people that you love safe."