"My Why" By Iris Horice Benefit Coordinator
Why did you decide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Initially, I opted out of the vaccine. I had watched way too many YouTube videos and things on the Internet, and talked myself into thinking there hadn’t been enough time or research. But after carefully considering all of the options, I realized I didn’t know enough about it. So I did the next best thing. I went to coworkers and colleagues here at Baptist Health Paducah and learned more about the science behind the vaccine and decided to get it done.
How did you feel after you got the first shot? After the first vaccine, I was super excited. I lost an uncle, a dear relative, to COVID-19 back in March of last year. So, after I decided to get the vaccine, I wanted to be the family member who could encourage other family members, the employee who would encourage other employees to do our little part. And that’s my whole thought process. This goal of making sure everyone gets vaccinated. If we just do our part, we can be successful. My uncle passed away. He will forever be known as the 5th casualty to COVID-19 in McCracken County, but for us, the loss was so much deeper. So, I kind of took it as a personal mission to make sure that I talked to all of our relatives that I knew about the vaccine. If it meant I had to be first, I was fine with that. I felt good. I felt it was my responsibility to do my little part.
What would you say to those who are worried about possible vaccine side effects? We’ve all heard tales of side effects and things that can go wrong. But I was excited to get this done because of the loss of my relative. We each need to do our part so we can one day get on the other side of this virus. I would do it again in a second. I strongly encourage everyone I talk to to go ahead and get it. Your arm may be sore, but one day you’ll be back out spending vacations and time with your family members.
What would you say to those who think it may not matter if they don’t get the vaccine? The COVID-19 vaccine is so important. For those who don’t think the virus is real, or those who talk about how tired they are of wearing masks, if we can all do our part to get on the other side of this virus, we will get back to loving and hugging and spending time with our family members. This virus is very real. We’ve all seen the numbers on television. Many have known something who has lost a family member. I tell you, for those who doubt it, there’s nothing worse than to have your family member on the COVID-19 unit and for them to pass away from COVID complications alone. So we can each do our part. That should encourage every person to get out there and get vaccinated. Spread the word that this vaccine is a great thing. COVID-19 is very real.
This interview was conducted in the summer of 2021, prior to organizational decisions regarding employee vaccination status and booster recommendations.