Vaccine Voices: ‘I’m 16 and excited to have a social life again’

Ella Pulscak recently turned 16. Soon afterwards she got her first dose of vaccine at a pharmacy in Gresham. Our conversation was edited for clarity and length.  How was the experience?  “It went really fast. They just made sure I knew what shot I was getting and told me about potential side effects. I’ve never freaked out much about […]

Vaccine Voices: ‘To be able to sing again in church!’

The Right Reverend Diana Akiyama was born in Wheeler, Oregon and grew up in a Japanese-American community in Hood River. In 1989, she was the first Japanese-American woman ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. Bishop Akiyama was consecrated on January 30, 2021 at Trinity Cathedral in Portland.  She shared her vaccine experience, and reasons for getting vaccinated:  My vaccine appointment date and time were […]

Vaccine Voices: Home health aide chooses vaccination to protect herself and her clients

Joanna Ball, a home health aide (included in Phase 1A) in Beaverton, shared her vaccine experience:   For me it was important to get vaccinated because I am a two-time stroke survivor that used to be a paraplegic but made a full recovery. I got vaccinated because of my work with seniors and people with disabilities, […]

Vaccine Voices: Bill Deiz receives his COVID-19 vaccine

We spoke with longtime Portlander Bill Deiz in mid-December about his thoughts on taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Deiz, well-known for his career in local TV and radio, is active in Oregon’s community, most recently as a former chair of the Oregon Commission on Voluntary Action and Service and as a member of the Rotary Club of Portland.   In that interview, Diez shared:    I realize that COVID-19 has adversely impacted Communities of […]

Vaccine Voices: Health workers from community care, a rural practice and an assisted living facility share their stories

Enrique Garcia, a community health care worker in Keizer, wrote: My first vaccine was the best experience; after the second shot got chills and little bit of headaches along with body temperature change, but all within the first 24 hours. I am Latino and always trying to lead by example. We have our Latino population around […]

Vaccine Voices: Promoting equitable access at Celilo Village

“Our Longhouse is a place of worship, and we haven’t been able to use it during COVID,” says Karen Whitford, a Tribal Elder who lives 12 miles east of the Dalles in Celilo Village. On Jan. 27, after a ceremonial prayer, Whitford and 103 Tribal members from throughout the Columbia River Gorge received first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Longhouse. It was a vaccination event that required collaboration between two states, four counties, the Intertribal […]

Vaccine Voices: Looking forward to a return to walking club

Avamere at Bethany, an independent living, assisted living and memory care community in Portland, held its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Jan. 11, 2021. They shared the vaccine story of David Rohrback, a senior resident, on their blog.   Almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our “shot” out of it brings hope to many […]

Vaccine Voices: ‘I decided to kick my fear aside’

Robin de La Mora is the owner of Collaborative Employment Innovations (CEI) in Corvallis, Oregon. CEI provides employment services such as job coaching, placement and supports to adults with disabilities. Her work providing direct service to people with disabilities qualified her for Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.    Robin is a mother and a grandmother. She is also a caregiver to […]

Vaccine Voices: Ronnie Herndon

Ronnie Herndon gets things done. The Portland civil rights activist is known for community engagement, especially when it comes to educational opportunities. From leading the effort to keep Harriet Tubman Middle School open to serving as teacher at Albina Youth Opportunity School, Herndon’s dedication to his community is evident. Herndon demonstrated that dedication once again […]