Kristy Swanson, the O.G. ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment

A blond woman smiles in front of a backdrop
Kristy Swanson, shown at a press event in January 2018, is now fighting COVID-19.
(Michael Tran / Getty Images)

Kristy Swanson, the original “Buffy,” was hospitalized Sunday in New Jersey for treatment of COVID-19.

“Prayers for me please. Yesterday I took an ambulance ride to the hospital. I’m still here with pneumonia, I’m on oxygen etc, all covid related of course. I’m in good spirits and in great hands,” the 51-year-old performer tweeted Monday.

Swanson — who appeared in three episodes of CBS’ “SEAL Team” in 2019 and has a few TV and digital releases under her belt since then — clarified a few hours later that she had been dealing with the virus for a while before the course of her disease shifted.

“I was just at the tail end of my Covid diagnosis when it jumped into my lungs,” she tweeted. “So they are treating me with Baricitinib & blood thinners so I don’t clot. I’m ok.”


“If I’d gone to high school I wouldn’t have been a cheerleader — I wouldn’t have had the time and it didn’t interest me,” says Kristy Swanson.

Aug. 1, 1992

Swanson also praised the people who were taking care of her and was in good enough spirits to note that the EMTs who had ferried her to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, N.J., were “hot.”

Swanson originated the role of Buffy in the 1992 movie when she was 22 and has continued to work steadily since then in TV and film. In March 1997, the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” launched on the WB with the 19-year-old Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role, with the spinoff ultimately rising to eclipse the original in pop culture history.

Baricitinib, a rheumatoid arthritis drug, was approved almost a year ago by the FDA for use in combination with the antiviral drug remdesivir against COVID-19 and got emergency-use authorization from the agency in July to be used on its own. The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines recommend baricitinib as a therapeutic option in addition to the steroid dexamethasone for hospitalized patients who require high-flow oxygen supplementation.