PHOENIX — Juliana Arrendondo sat patiently for her observation period inside a gym at South Mountain Community College. The mother of young kids had finally taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Oh yes, I was hesitant, it’s a new vaccine and we don’t know about the side effects more in the long run,” said Arrendondo.
The south Phoenix resident was one of 150 who had made an appointment to get their Moderna shot Saturday morning. Many other "walk-ups" made their way into the gym throughout the day.
ABC15 asked Arrendondo if she had other relatives who were hesitant, like her. "Oh yeah, they are close relatives,” she said.
She said it was her childrens' well-being that convinced her to finally take this leap of faith. She also talked about her father, who is diabetic, and she said, "more prone to getting very sick from the virus."
“We all need a little bit of encouragement sometimes, so I’ve got my shot and that’s why I am here to try to encourage others to get theirs,” said Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Gammage of the Phoenix Fire Department.
As an African American leader in the community, Gammage says his testimony will hopefully encourage more to get the vaccine.
"You know I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy because I believe it comes with culture and how we were brought but education is key, the first thing you have to do is lead by example. Imagine the benefits of not getting COVID-19 versus getting COVID-19,” said Jessica Ruiz. Ruiz is a pharmacist at Walgreen’s near 40th Street and Southern.
“Yes, they come in asking if someone speaks Spanish,” she adds when we asked her about the Latino community she serves. “The community right now needs us as healthcare professionals to provide education,” she adds.
Ruiz does admit the recent pause and newly announced start up again for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will have an effect on those who were already hesitant.
“I believe yes there might be a little bit of a warmup because there is hesitancy. 'Wait you just pulled this vaccine and now you are bringing it back?' Where the data, we have to remember there were nearly seven million of Johnson & Johnson. There is definitely a little bit more counseling that we can do- here is this is what you can expect”
At this event, the Moderna vaccine was administered. So, it’s not just the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that is currently available. If someone wants the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you can find it at dozens of locations here.