Vaccine Voices: Salem mom says getting COVID-19 was not an option

Mary Hoeft says — in all honesty — she was slightly hesitant about getting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because she had heard of side effects such as fever, chills and low energy. Being low on energy is not an option for Hoeft, 42, who is a single mother of a 9-year-old child with special needs.

Mary Hoeft

“In the end, I got the second dose because I wanted to show my daughter that it’s okay to get vaccinated and there is nothing to it,” said Hoeft. “I wanted her to see that the side effects are not permanent.”

She was also tired of wearing a mask.

“Although I am willing to do it again if needed,” said Hoeft. “I want to do my part in preventing the spread of COVID.”

Hoeft and her daughter Tamara live in Salem. She is a stay-at-home mom whose full-time job is taking care of Tamara. Hoeft looks forward to when the vaccine is also available for younger children like her daughter.

“I think it’s really important for them to be protected from this very nasty virus,” said Hoeft. “I was very fortunate not to get COVID-19 and I hope that the vaccine will reduce my risk of getting the Delta variant.”

Tamara, Hoeft’s daughter

Hoeft describes herself as a ‘straight forward person’ who believes in science and technology.

“I am very thankful that we have vaccines in this day and age to counter viruses like COVID-19 and other variants of the COVID-19 virus,” said Hoeft.

Though most people she has spoken to have already been vaccinated, some are still on the fence.

“They don’t want to get vaccinated because they believe the narrative that is going around about vaccines causing severe adverse side effects including developmental ones,” said Hoeft. “That is just not true.”

In fact, even though Hoeft admitted side effects were a concern for her initially and she was drained one day following her second dose, the next day she was “back to normal with no other concerns.”

“I’ve had to remind several people that rumors are just that, rumors,” said Hoeft. “They have no scientific basis or fact.”

When asked why she was willing to share her vaccination story with other Oregonians, she said she wants to help persuade her peers to get vaccinated as well.

“I really hope this helps,” said Hoeft. “I hope if those who are on the fence or don’t want to get a vaccine read testimonies about others’ positive experiences with getting the vaccine [like mine] they’ll think again on getting one themselves.”