VNA nurse shares personal story of why she's getting COVID-19 vaccine

VNA Vaccinations
Posted at 6:07 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 07:18:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the past two weeks, people were lined up at the Visiting Nurse Association, waiting to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We filled up so fast," VNA President Brad Evans said. "As of Friday morning, we had about 900 slots we still needed to fill. And we were getting a little bit worried because we knew we had a limited amount of time to be able to administer the vaccine before they were going to allocate it to somebody else."

But within six hours, those 900 slots were filled.

"That just underscores the demand for the vaccine and the desire people have to get this vaccine," Evans said.

People were happy to fill those slots.

"I've never had so many thank yous in my whole career," VNA Nurse, Vicky Shimp said. "They're just grateful."

She's been a nurse for 43 years. But like for many, the coronavirus was unchartered territory.

"I feel like this is probably the most important work I've ever done in my long career," Shimp said.

Shimp received her first dose of the vaccine last week.

"Well I almost teared up," Shimp said. "I lost relatives to COVID. So, I was thinking of them and thinking of the rest of my family and all our friends."

Now she's volunteering her time to get others vaccinated.

"I wanted to protect them," Shimp said. "So this just felt like a privilege to be able to give these vaccinations."

As sleeves are lifted and shots are administered, Shimp remembers the people in her life.

"My husband died of COVID, in March," Shimp said. "So I feel very very strongly about getting vaccinated."

As people signed up to schedule their second dose, walls were covered with papers listing reasons why people were getting vaccinated. There were some who named their grandchildren, others named their parents, family and friends.

"To see us all come together over this and protecting each other and loving each other, that is a good feeling," Shimp said.

The VNA is completely booked and is not taking appointments at this time.

In the future, they'll be looking at logistics to see when they can administer more to the general public.