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 us here in Marion County, and they know who I am. I work in health care and would like to continue to assist patients, and that’s another reason I want to protect the people that I am in touch with by getting the vaccine.

Anna Tiwari, a doctor at Canyonville Health and Urgent Care, wrote:

We are a four-provider practice in rural Oregon. It was harder for us to get the vaccine as my staff is not affiliated with a hospital. There were a lot of misconceptions about the vaccine, so it was important to set an example. The first dose was a breeze, minor arm pain for 6 to 8 hours. It did encourage a couple more of our staff members to accept the vaccine when it was available to them. After the second dose, I had some body aches and sweats and a headache, nothing that a 250 mg of Tylenol couldn’t fix. Though people are concerned about the vaccine side effects, it makes you wonder how much worse the disease is likely to be, something I am not keen to experience. We treat an elderly population, and they need to be protected, and we need to be there for them and not be out sick. It’s just as important to reassure the patients that the vaccine is a lifesaving measure for not just you but for everyone around.

Rose Rockwood, an administrator at Country Side Living in Canby, wrote:

Country Side Living’s vaccine experience was well organized and seamless. Due to a personal fear of needles, I was very anxious about receiving the vaccine. The nurse was very empathetic of my fear and provided me with a detailed step-by-step process explanation. I was able to relax and receive my vaccine successfully. I experienced no negative side effects following the vaccine. I have various reasons for feeling passionate about receiving the vaccination: The population I work with is of the highest risk for having complications due to COVID. Additionally, I have multiple family members (grandparents and children) who are at risk.

Rose Rockwood after receiving her vaccine.

This article first appeared in the March 9, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.