I got the COVID-19 vaccine because I work at the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence long-term care home with the elderly. I have done so for 18 years now and have never seen anything like COVID-19. I wanted to take the vaccine so I can protect the residents in the Houses and everyone else around me including my colleagues and coworkers.

At first I was a little bit hesitant to take the vaccine. But I know that the researchers worked so hard on it and so I decided that I’d go and get it done to be part of the solution. I’m not scared of the vaccine, I know it will help. I’ve taken many vaccines before and I think we should all work together and take the vaccine so we can get back to our lives the way they were and get back to our loves ones who we miss.

It’s very important that everyone get it, not just for ourselves, but to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially if you work in long-term care. It’s all about working together as a team to be vaccinated.

I also got the vaccine because I want to be there for family members of our residents who aren’t able to come and visit as often as they want. I’ve talked to family members of our residents and they are so excited that we’re getting the vaccine. It gives them peace of mind to know we’re getting vaccinated because that way we won’t get sick and will continue to be at work, and they take comfort in knowing that the staff they know are taking care of their loved ones.

Even the residents who took the vaccine, they’re very excited, and they come in and show us that they took it and they want to make sure you took the vaccine too. So for me I’d say the vaccine is to help protect against COVID-19 but also I want to be there for families who aren’t able to come in as often as they want.

Charmaine Coleman is a Resident Assistant at the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence. She got her COVID-19 vaccine. Get yours.

As told to Selma Al-Samarrai. This interview has been edited and condensed.