by April Sims
(This article was originally published by The Stand and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
As governments and employers announce mandates, COVID-19 vaccination is center stage. While 60% of eligible folks in Washington State are fully vaccinated, and the vaccination rate is higher in some job sectors, we know some of the working people we represent have not gotten the vaccine. At the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO, we’re working to provide folks with the answers they need to make an informed choice about vaccination. Talking with union members, a question has come up repeatedly: I already had COVID-19, should I still get vaccinated?
In November 2020, my daughter came home from work feeling unwell. An essential worker, she’s one of thousands of working people in Washington who showed up at her job site even as many of us moved our work lives virtual. Two days later, she tested positive for COVID-19.
Within a few days, despite attempts to isolate, my two daughters, my husband, and I all had COVID-19. I’m someone who rarely gets sick, but the coronavirus took me out. My usually energetic family spent well over a week fighting the virus, and even longer recovering from the lingering fatigue. As secretary treasurer of the WSLC, I have access to paid sick leave, but my daughters and husband had to miss work, unpaid, while they recovered.
One thing I know for sure: I never want to have COVID-19 again. And I’ve seen the research that suggests vaccines provide greater protection against serious illness for folks who’ve had COVID-19 previously. All my family members work in community settings, coming in contact with coworkers or community members, and we have loved ones who are high-risk.
Continue reading OPINION: I Had COVID-19 — Why I Still Got Vaccinated