Vaccine Voices: ‘Sometimes, leading by example means doing things that seem scary’

Susan Prettyman, Social Services Program Manager at Clatsop Community Action, shares her vaccination story:

I was vaccinated at an event at the Armory in Astoria, Oregon, which was organized by Columbia Memorial Hospital. Going into the appointment, I felt really anxious and concerned about what the side effects would be, but I also felt reassured, knowing that I was being vaccinated with the rest of my staff, and that this would be an experience we shared together. Before we went in, our team talked about how we felt, our nerves, and how we could support each other during and after the experience. I was able to actually hold the hand of one of my coworkers who was feeling scared during her shot. The experience was really a lot to take in and process, but Columbia Memorial Hospital made the experience good for us, and overall, we were in and out within an hour.

For myself, it was important to get the vaccine to show my children, friends, family, and community how much I want to keep them safe. We work with vulnerable populations, such as seniors, families, and the homeless in Clatsop County, and I want to keep them and myself healthy so we can stop the spread in our community.

Sometimes, leading by example means doing things that seem scary, for the greater good of the community. I’m so fortunate that our entire staff at Clatsop Community Action chose to be vaccinated, so we can continue the work we do to help those most in need in Clatsop County.

This article first appeared in the Feb. 23, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.