Vaccine Voices: ‘We still need to protect everybody as best as we can’

Crystal and Ron Phipps of Eugene did a lot of research and had many thoughtful discussions before making the decision to have their 13-year-old daughter, Emma, vaccinated.  

Now they cannot wait for the vaccine to become available for 10-year-old Conner so that their entire household has protection against COVID-19 and can return to a more normal life. Both children are currently attending school online and will return to the classroom after Conner is vaccinated.  

“Once we are all vaccinated it’s like alright, we have done what we can and suddenly our bubble will be so much bigger because they will be in school and around more people,” Crystal said. 

Crystal and Ron

Ron is susceptible to bronchitis and Conner has mild asthma. Conner is basically a healthy kid, but they are not willing to expose him to COVID-19 without knowing how the virus might affect him if he were infected. 
“Chances are everything would be fine and that is great,” Ron said. “But we are operating under this mindset of we still need to protect everybody as best as we can, so we don’t do a lot of things that we used to do.” 

The Phipps decided to vaccinate their children after researching the development and trials of the vaccines and acknowledging that this pandemic will likely “go on and on and on” if people do not get vaccinated.  
“We did all this research on the initial vaccines and the new technology. There is this common thought that this thing was rushed, that it was so fast,” Ron said.  “But when you look into it more, you realize noit wasn’t rushed. This is the result of many years of research.” 

Ron also believes we got “super lucky” with how effective the vaccines have been. When the pandemic started medical experts hoped for a vaccine with about 60% efficacy. Then the trials for Pfizer and Moderna showed efficacy over 90%. “They have even worked well against a bad [Delta] variant,” Ron said.  

Crystal also used resources available in Oregon, to help alleviate any lingering concerns she had, including attending a virtual talk with doctors from Lane County. She expressed her worry about Emma being vaccinated in the middle of puberty when hormones are “going crazy.” The doctors’ answers to her questions eased her mind that she was making the best decision to vaccinate her daughter. “That helped me feel more secure with our decision,” Crystal said.  

The combination of learning the science behind the vaccines and a desire to contribute to slowing the spread of the virus has them “counting the days” until Conner is vaccinated.  

“It will be so nice to feel like if any of us get sick, we are more than likely going to be ok,” Crystal said. “It is kind of like a weight being lifted off our shoulders.”  

To find a vaccine near you, visit Get Vaccinated Oregon (GVO).