Vaccine Voices: Learning about the vaccine research was a ‘game changer’

Yvonne Hall, wearing her protective gear in the early days of COVID-19

In the early days of COVID-19, Yvonne Hall wore so much protective gear, her boyfriend joked she looked like a “space alien.”

“When the disease started to hit in China, I saw it was airborne and had the mask that I wore from my previous work in a neuroscience lab rebuilt,” said Hall who lives in Yachats with her three cats and two goats. “I wore that and gloves and glasses. I got lots of dirty looks, but I felt it was better to be safe than sorry.”

But she was hesitant about the vaccine, believing it had been developed quickly. So, she turned to friends who worked in biology labs for their thoughts. They told her the research on the vaccination had been completed in the 1990s during the SARS epidemic. Operation Warp Speed – a federal program designed to speed up vaccine development—helped fund the trials necessary to make sure it would work and was safe.

For Hall, the information was a “game changer.”

Yvonne Hall

“I knew it was my best shot at being able to live my life again and not be confined to home all the time, which for me was so very depressing.”

Hall, a lifelong equestrian who retired early after taking a hoof to the head, not only got the vaccination for herself, she spent hours on the computer making appointments for her older friends who didn’t have computers to make the appointments themselves.

“I felt a tremendous sense of relief because then I didn’t have to be so nervous,” she said. “I felt safer.”

Today, Hall still wears a mask and takes precautions like grocery shopping early in the morning when there are fewer people in the store. She avoids crowds and isn’t comfortable flying just yet. She’s looking forward to going to the ballet and symphony again but will wait until she is certain the Delta variant surge has fully passed.

“My overall take on getting vaccinated is that it is far better and much easier to get a prick in the arm than to risk getting a horrible disease that can severely damage your organs if not outright kill you.”

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.