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 needles. Obviously, I’m not like,” Yay! A shot!” But this time I was just more excited about getting the vaccine than anything else. 

Why did you choose to get vaccinated? 

Everyone in my family had already gotten at least their first dose and I felt like it was the right thing to do to keep both myself and my family safe from this virus. I also think that vaccination is the way for the world to become closer to normal eventually, hopefully, again. So I just felt like it was the best possible next step to take. I was eligible for it and I wanted to take advantage of that. 

What are you looking forward to once you’re fully vaccinated? 

I’m excited to see all my friends again. I’ve been able to see them here and there, distanced, masked, outside, and all that. But I’m excited to have a social life again, to go out hiking and adventuring.  

As a high school student, I feel like I’ve missed out on a couple of experiences already. My school has opened up a hybrid but it’s just not the same.

I’m looking forward to being able to have full days of school again, see my friends in the building, and have one-on-one relationships with teachers.

I think vaccination is the next step and I’m excited to see where it takes us.

Share your vaccine story with us by filling out our survey, either in English or Spanish, or by using the hashtags #MyVaccineReason or #MiVozMiVacuna when you share on your social media channels. As we learn more about when and where vaccinations are available, information will continue to be posted at and

This article first appeared in the May 6, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.