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.   

Photo is of Robin and her grandson, Amir.

Robin is a mother and a grandmother. She is also a caregiver to an elderly parent with underlying conditions. Robin shares her story:  

I had mixed feelings about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. I needed to process my personal responsibility to family, community, and myself. I had to think about my grandchildren’s academic and mental health and their need to return to school. I had to think about how to best protect my father, provide employment services to individuals with disabilities, and return to in-person volunteering.  

As a proud, successful Mexican-American woman, I decided to kick my fear aside and put my health and the health of others first. On Feb. 7, I  received my second dose of the vaccine for protection against a virus that disproportionately affects people with developmental disabilities and Black and Brown communities. 

This article first appeared in the Feb. 25, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.