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Utah Woman Discusses What Helped Her Decide To Get Vaccinated

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Experts said compassion, understanding and trusted information were the keys to helping someone make a decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. One Utah woman who was initially hesitant to get the vaccine shared what changed her mind.

Alejandra Gonzalez is a mother of three and a teacher at the Neighborhood House in Salt Lake City.

She said some members of her family were steering her away from the COVID-19 vaccine, and she had concerns, too, until her work brought in a doctor to answer questions.

“We asked tons of questions,” Gonzalez said.

That meeting with the doctor helped change her mind.

“That’s when I started getting more confident on it,” she said.

“There are many reasons why people may not be vaccinated yet,” said Dr. Tamara Sheffield, medical director of Community Health and Prevention with Intermountain Healthcare.

She said access to trusted information was vital for vaccine decision-making.

“We need to find out where people are, and that comes by listening and understanding and asking questions,” she said.

Sheffield said barriers to getting the vaccine could be because of work schedules, technology, transportation or communication, and that instead of telling someone what to do, we should listen first.

“We need to remove our blind spots by understanding them and asking them questions and having empathy for their concerns,” Sheffield said.

“I have some brothers, too, and they’re like, ‘No, we’re not into it,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, well I’m going to take the risk. It’s my decision,’ and here I am,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is getting her second shot this week.

“I feel excellent. I get to protect more of my family,” she said.

She’s also excited for the freedom that comes with being vaccinated.

“I’m happy to have no more masks and to see more smiles,” she said laughing.

Gonzalez said she encouraged her family and friends to get as much information as possible and to get vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost, even if someone is uninsured, and is available to anyone regardless of their immigration status. To register online, visit the Utah Department of Health or Intermountain Healthcare, or call the Coronavirus Hotline at 1-800-456-7707.

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