Why I’m Getting Vaccinated

CHRISTUS Health has administered more than 65,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses across Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

There are powerful, personal reasons for so many to get vaccinated.

“If you’re filled with fear, you’re not going to accomplish anything.” That’s what a 97 year old World War II Veteran said as he arrived to CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic in Mineola, Texas.

Army Air Corps Maj. Paul W. Harrington proudly served our country. In early January, he proudly rolled up his sleeve. 

When you live a life as long as Mr. Harrington, you are bound to see your share of highs and lows. Some of those are detailed in a special news report from a local ABC affiliate in East Texas.

97-Year-old East Texas man gets COVID-19 Vaccine

Throughout Louisiana, hundreds of CHRISTUS Associates began to share why they  were receiving the COVID vaccine. Through a popular hashtag campaign called #MyWhy, people like Jennifer Firmin, a CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Director of School Based Health Centers, said:

“I elected to get the vaccines bc my parents are over 75 and I have a daughter and granddaughter that are immunosuppressive. I believe in vaccinating the herd to protect my family. #MyWhy”

Seeing so many loved ones bear the brunt of the deadly virus is why others like Paula Stokes, RN, CHRISTUS Community Clinics and others she works with decided to post about their #MyWhy

“I did it for my family, friends, coworkers & everyone I come in contact with! #MyWhy”

 A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that a general willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has gone up since December. But there’s still hesitancy, most notably among people of color. The survey finds that more than half of Latino adults are in no rush to get vaccinated

However, that’s not the case for Rosie Tijerina. The CHRISTUS Spohn Associate experienced the indescribable heartbreak of losing her grandson to COVID.

When made available, she was one of the first healthcare workers in line to receive the COVID Pfizer vaccine.

Her son, the father of her late grandson, just recently was able to receive his first dose as well.

Her story, she details in this video: Rosie’s Story

Rosie’s Story

Members of the CHRISTUS Health Equity Physician Task Force recently penned a group letter to the neighbors in the communities they serve, but especially communities of color.

The letter acknowledges a painful history, skepticism and systematic racism while also offering thoughtful insight and an important pledge so that more people can feel a bit more confident about give their #MyWhy.

Here’s a portion of the CHRISTUS Health Equity Physician Task Force Letter:

At CHRISTUS, we have a higher calling to ensure that everyone is cared for, and offered equal opportunities and access to this preventative treatment. Currently, we have options for two effective vaccines, and we believe that NOT doing everything in our power to make them available to our communities, especially our communities of color, would be falling short of our commitment to offer hope and healing.