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Why I got the vaccine: Looking forward to seeing my grandmother


Woman smiling holding her vaccination card with Northern Health COVID-19 vaccination graphic.
Eryn Collins, Regional Manager of Public Affairs and Media Relations at Northern Health, couldn't hide her excitement when she #gottheshot in Prince George.

Why I got the vaccine

Side effect I’d been hoping to avoid: inability to keep myself from shouting from the rooftops that I’d been immunized.

Side effects I hoped for (I know, I know – but a gal can hope): sudden reversal of grey hairs; uncontrollable urge to start training for 10K runs.

Side effects I actually got: well, the first was gratitude - for too many reasons to list.

The second, bigger reaction was relief – that I’m on my way to a significantly reduced risk of getting, or becoming seriously ill with, a virus that has consumed our focus for so long. It’s pushed front-line health care workers to their limits (along with – even if to lesser degree than those who provide direct care – those who do the less-seen, behind-the-scenes work, I say as Northern Health communications professional). It has turned lives upside-down, and kept loved ones from holding each other.

My 97-year-old grandmother was the first person who I personally knew to get vaccinated… at the long-term care facility she lives in, in my former home province of Ontario. The sense of relief that I, my mother, and my sister felt knowing she had that added layer of protection, was strong, then -- perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised at my own reaction. 

I wore a necklace that belonged to my grandmother to my appointment today, because I wanted her with me as I took a step that will hopefully see me able to head home, and give her a long-overdue hug, before too long. And, when a friendly greeter at the Prince George Civic Centre clinic commented on the necklace, I found myself telling him about my motivations, too.

Thank you to Northern Health staff and volunteers

I’ve heard a lot of great feedback from people who got their vaccine at their local Northern Health clinic… but until I experienced it for myself, I couldn’t explain just how much work has gone into making it a welcoming, simple and efficient process. Thank you to all of the Northern Health staff and volunteers who are making such a huge contribution to getting us beyond this pandemic.

Oh, and that first side effect I’d hoped to avoid? Yeah, I think I got that one, too.