It’s been over a year since the first case of COVID-19 was found in the U.S. and one month since vaccinations have been underway at UT Physicians and UTHealth. Patients, health care workers, and members of the community have eagerly signed up to receive the vaccine – an action experts say will help us develop community immunity and eventually return to a more normal life.
For Norman Johnson, the opportunity to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is a welcome one.
“I’ve seen how much death and devastation this virus has caused,” said Johnson. “Anyone can catch it, so I’m doing this to protect myself.”
The 74-year-old Army veteran scheduled his appointment for a Saturday morning at his neighborhood clinic, and was in and out the door in less than an hour. However, for something that took so little time out of his day, Johnson still regarded his decision to become vaccinated as significant.
“For some people, catching COVID-19 could mean life or death,” said Johnson. “That’s what I would say to encourage others to consider getting the vaccine.”
The UT Physicians Multispecialty – Victory clinic, which provides care to an underserved area of Houston, was the first community clinic outside of the UTHealth Vaccine Hub to begin vaccinating patients.
Another patient and member of the community to schedule their vaccination appointment was Maria Estebane.
Estebane, an educator who recently came out of retirement, said she signed up for the vaccine for one simple reason – to protect herself.
“I’m 67 years old and recently reentered the workforce,” she said. “This will allow me to have peace of mind while I’m teaching, but I do plan on continuing to follow safety protocols.”
About the vaccine
Experts agree that acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial to our goal of community immunity. Luis Ostrosky, MD, infectious disease expert with UT Physicians, urges the Houston community to sign up for the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.
“Vaccinations are the beginning of the end to this pandemic,” said Ostrosky, who is also a professor of infectious diseases and vice chair of Healthcare Quality at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
To learn more about the vaccine, please visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Update page.