Newsroom What's your 'why'? Staffers share their reasons for getting vaccinated Posted by Randy Berger on Dec. 19, 2020 Now that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has FDA authorization, we are looking forward to next week, when our employees will begin receiving the vaccine.Thousands of our colleagues have signed up to receive the vaccine. We asked our teams to share the "why" behind their decision, and they responded in droves! Check out a few examples below: Dr. Julie Settle CoxHealth Center OzarkI'm set to receive my COVID vaccine soon and I can't help but think of what is going to change in the coming months as the vaccine is distributed and starts to turn the tide of COVID-19. This is so much more than just another vaccine to me. It's not losing patients I've cared for the past six yearsIt's not worrying about hurting my kids, parents, or grandparentsIt's not having to count the days from when a positive patient coughed and gagged heavily while I swabbed them... and hoping my PPE did it's jobIt's not waiting for test results alone in the basement It's not wondering how much my weight and asthma will affect my fate if I get itIt's eventually telling my kids yes, of course we can go to the movies this weekend It's not having to try to find the right words to comfort another widower who went into the hospital with his wife many years, but came out without herIt's knowing people I love working long shifts, countless weekends, and fighting endless battles in hospitals here and around the U.S. will get some relief, some wins, some peace of mind It's being able to breathe again I usually only share pictures of food and my kids on social media, I don't get political or weigh in on the news - but all those bullet points are real thoughts and experiences had by yours truly. I work in a clinic, so I'm not seeing the suffering our hospital staff sees daily, but even in my world - I've seen enough. I'm ready for a vaccine. Hug your family tight. Pray for the healthcare workers in your life. Get the vaccine when you can. Talk to your doctor not your Facebook friends if you have questions. The light at the end of a too long tunnel is in sight! Dr. Lacey WinchesterLaboratory ServicesI am getting the COVID-19 vaccine because I want to protect my mother and grandfather. Both are high-risk, and can't get vaccinated until it is available to the public. My husband and I have a second-grader; we are getting vaccinated to protect our son, his teachers, and school staff when he returns to class in-person in January. I regularly perform biopsies on patients with who need immediate chemotherapy or surgery — they are already vulnerable to infection, and cannot afford the delay a prolonged COVID illness might cause. Ultimately, I cannot think of a good reason for me *not* to accept the vaccine. It feels like the right thing to do. Mark ConnEngineeringI am 59 and half years old, in good health and the youngest of 8 children, all still living. Since I work at a hospital as maintenance, I have the potential of exposure from multiple sources. I am diligent about wearing a mask and hand washing, but I feel that only by taking the vaccine I can truly begin to protect the people that I love. I want to protect my siblings, my spouse and myself as much as possible. The Church and civic group that I belong to also have a lot of older people whom I am friends with. I would hate it if I was responsible for someone else becoming sick, just because I refused to be vaccinated. Bernadette MeyerPopulation HealthI want to protect my family and our community! In 2021, I want to return to a normal life of close an frequent physical contact with my children and grandchildren. Facetime is great, but I miss them so much, it is painful!