Vaccine Voices: Vaccines will help us ‘get to freedom’

Sharon Porter, a retired educator in La Grande, did not hesitate at all to get the COVID-19 vaccine. As a cancer patient, Sharon is grateful for the treatments that have kept her alive for many years. As Sharon explains, “I have been vaccinated for measles, smallpox, polio, shingles, flu, and all the other childhood diseases. I felt I had a load off my shoulders when I got my first round of [COVID-19] vaccines.”  

Sharon Porter

Because Sharon is immunocompromised, she got a third dose of the vaccine in August and appreciates “that extra measure of protection.” But she is still careful.  

Living in Union County, where less than half of residents ages 18 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and hospital admissions for COVID-19 regularly exceed the statewide average, Sharon says, “I am still careful because I am immunocompromised and not sure how much protection I actually have. I am mindful of social distancing, masking, and staying outdoors with others as much as possible. When I am in close proximity to an unmasked person, I get a bit panicked. I will not enter a store where masks are not worn. I feel sad about that because I want to support local business.”  

Sharon is also grateful when people “care enough for people like me to mask up. I care about others and want to get past all this. We will not get to freedom until we all cooperate and get vaccinated, if medically able.” 

To Sharon, getting fully vaccinated is a powerful way “to help others in our community. That is celebration enough!” 

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.