What are Your Reasons for Getting the Vaccine?

January 19, 2021 | News

In December 2020, British Columbia received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines. Built off the existing research of coronaviruses, the quick turnaround is the result of an international effort to provide a safe vaccine. With approval from Health Canada, the rollout of the vaccine begins—and so too does the idea of returning to something resembling “normal”.

Adina Barbu
Clinical Resource Nurse for 14 years

Which begs the question, what does the idea of “normal” mean to you?

Perhaps it’s the activities we once took for granted. Going to the movies, travelling, or just visiting a friend—all things mass vaccination will allow us to get back to.

But for healthcare workers who have constantly been at risk of infection, the vaccine represents the first step to feeling at ease during work.

“I signed up as soon as I knew I could get vaccinated. The elders we care for are important to us. They are like family. We are close to them. I have always been worried about bringing COVID into our care home. We need to protect them and others from getting the virus” says, Elaine Shortner, Head Cook at Kinsmen Lodge, in Surrey.

The fear of spreading the virus to a vulnerable population is a significant cause of stress added to a sector already full of challenges. Nobody wants to be the one—and all it takes is one—to spread the virus to the people they care about. And with the possibility of asymptomatic individuals, that fear doesn’t go away until most people are vaccinated.

“Getting the vaccination gives me peace of mind. I don’t want to be the one to spread COVID in our care home. Protecting myself and our residents and my coworkers is the biggest motivation” says Adina Barbu, a Clinical Resource Nurse. “I was a little nervous before, but I know that it was a well-researched vaccine with lots of doctors coming together to share their expertise. I’m a bit proud to be one of the first.”

 Motivations for getting the vaccine extend outside of work, as Adina continues:

“I also have a selfish motivation. I want to be able to travel again. My parents live in Europe and I want to be able to see them again.“

This is a common sentiment, as the pandemic severely limits our social interactions. Restrictions are necessary to protect us, but they also result in grandparents who haven’t been able to see their grandchildren, friends who haven’t seen each other in months, and those in care who haven’t seen their families—the list goes on. The virtual interactions we’ve grown accustomed to can’t replace the feeling of hugging a loved one.

“I haven’t seen my grandkids or son since March. To be able to see them again will mean a lot,” says Elaine.

We all need to play our part to get return to “normal”. Getting vaccinated is one way we can put this behind us—and allow people like Elaine and Adina to see their loved ones again.