Jammie Brock’s perspective on the COVID vaccine is essentially “to each their own”, but with an emphasis on her personal safety. Having emphysema and being at high risk for COVID led her to believe, without question, that getting the vaccine was the right personal choice for her and her husband, who is also very high risk. Jammie is aware that she can still get the virus after being fully vaccinated but doesn’t want to end up on a ventilator. “I’d rather get the vaccine than take that chance,” she said.
Jammie says there are people in her life who have opted not to get the vaccine, like her daughters. She attributes their resistance to the influence of misleading videos on social media that she has seen spreading around along with distrust outweighing their knowledge of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. However, “It’s your choice whether to get it or not,” Jammie believes. Her choice is to take a chance with a new vaccine rather than experience severe symptoms of the virus, or worse, become a “COVID long-hauler” like one of her friends.
“I need to protect myself, my husband, and my clients from the virus.” Family Resource caregivers are required to wear masks at all times while caring for their clients, however, clients and their family members are not required, which presents an amount of risk for Jammie. She has witnessed family members of clients contract the virus. By getting vaccinated, she wishes to minimize the risk of being exposed and passing it onto her other clients, their families, as well as her own family. She’s still concerned about contracting the virus, but not as concerned now after being fully vaccinated.
Jammie had the first dose of Moderna’s vaccine on January 13 and the second one 28 days later. The first dose was administered in the intimate setting of a doctor’s office, while the second was done in a crowded auditorium at a mass-vaccination site downtown. The experience of setting up the appointments was extremely easy, she recalled. She called her doctor’s office, got a list of places administering them, and made her appointments. She gladly accepted the Moderna vaccine since that’s what was available at her doctor’s office.
Not knowing how her body would react to the vaccine caused Jammie a bit of concern, especially since she had to go back to work right after. She put her concerns aside and “just went in and went for it”. Luckily, she didn’t really experience any substantial symptoms from either shot, minus some arm soreness. She reported the second dose hurt her arm less than the first. Her husband, however, experienced fatigue and body aches after both doses, feeling slightly worse following the first one.
All in all, Jammie is happy to be back at work. At the beginning of the pandemic, she had to take several months off since she and her husband are so high-risk. She eventually was so bored being at home that she decided to go back to work, even with the risk. She’s grateful to Family Resource for allowing her to return to the clients she’d had before, as well as allowing only her to be the only caregiver on their schedules in order to reduce her risk of exposure from others. With her husband fully vaccinated and past the two-week mark, Jammie feels much less concerned about other caregivers caring for her clients. Now, she even thinks, “I would feel comfortable going to the store without a mask, outside of close proximity to other people, because I have the vaccine,” but of course still wants to take the precaution of mask-wearing and following local guidelines.