Blog Post

Each one, reach one: My vaccine story

Today’s post is from CT Health President and CEO Tiffany Donelson.

This is a photo of Tiffany Donelson and her daughter wearing masks and standing in front of a sign that says "UConn Health"

Tiffany Donelson and her daughter after getting their COVID-19 vaccines at UConn Health earlier this month.

In my community, “each one, reach one” is a term that is frequently used. Essentially, as we each rise, we need to bring someone else along and up.

I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week. Many people have asked why I waited a month after being eligible for the vaccine to take it. Well, I was practicing this community tradition.

My older daughter, who just turned 16, was hesitant to take the vaccine. Yes, even my child, who has listened to me speak on several webinars about the importance of the vaccine, especially in communities of color. She and I had several discussions leading up to the date when my age group became eligible for the vaccines in April. In late March, my daughter said she would get the vaccine if I did it with her. So we went together last week.

Waiting was tough, but if it meant that she would get vaccinated too, it was worth the wait. We go back for our second dose next month.

As we think about those who are still hesitant, it will take the experiences and conversations of those who are trusted to bring folks along. Each of us can play a role. If you’ve gotten the vaccine, speak to your family members, friends, co-workers, even the person in the grocery store, about getting it.

If you have an appointment coming up, consider bringing someone along.

For those who lost friends or loved ones due to the pandemic, I can’t express enough my sorrow for your loss, and I empathize, given the experience of my own family. For those who lost their livelihoods and missed life in general, the vaccine is one path forward to getting back to “normal.” So, please, each one, reach one, so that each of us can regain our lives and regain maybe not all, but some of what we lost.