Vaccine Voices: ‘If we all start caring, we can defeat this pandemic’

Ricardo Cobar, an IT network technician for Greater Albany Public Schools, got COVID-19 in December 2020. Most of his family members also got COVID-19, but for Ricardo and his mother, the experience was life-threatening.

As Ricardo shares, “My mother and I had to go to the Intensive Care Unit. I was close to death. I was in there a few days with high-flow oxygen. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it.”

A father of seven, Ricardo “didn’t think twice” about getting vaccinated as soon as he could. He got the COVID-19 vaccine in March, despite the fears that others shared about the vaccine. “I love my life, and I love my family. That’s the best way to explain why I got vaccinated.”

Ricardo wears this pin to let others know he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ricardo wants people to know the vaccine is safe. All his family members who got COVID-19 in December have recovered and are also fully vaccinated. His adult children are vaccinated, too. He wears a pin on his work badge to share his vaccination status and is happy to share his experience with others.

Ricardo hopes his words reach people who “don’t believe how bad COVID can be. I’m still having post-COVID issues. It’s not a joke.” Ricardo’s post-COVID symptoms include trouble falling sleep, weak muscles, low oxygen level, fatigue and occasional brain fog.

Ricardo also recognizes that widespread vaccination against COVID-19 is critical to help end the pandemic and protect loved ones who can’t get vaccinated yet, like his youngest daughters, ages eight and two. “We’re responsible for taking care of our lives and our loved ones. If we all start caring, our families and the world will soon defeat this pandemic.”

Would Ricardo have his daughters get the COVID-19 vaccine, once it’s available to them? “Of course,” Ricardo says. “I want to protect my kids from any disease possible.”

Vaccines are safe and the most effective way to protect us against serious illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Find more information and a vaccine site near you today by visiting our Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon web page.