KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Truman Medical Centers held a vaccination event for 175 people on Thursday at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School.
The focus was vaccinating teens ages 12 and older, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.
Keith King with Truman Medical Centers said the focus now extends beyond just vaccinating people and also looks at providing education and accessibility to the vaccine.
Mother and son, Patricia Banks and Tony Kirkwod Jr., said having each other to go through the experience together was special.
“I’ve always looked up to my mom as someone to be an example of, and seeing her get the shot helped me want to do it too,” Kirkwood Jr. said.
While they had their doubts about the vaccine at first, both of them decided to get the shot to set an example for each other and their community.
“We just want to be examples in the community we live in,” Banks said. “Those are some of the people that are naysayers, because they don’t know. So for somebody that looks like them from their community, maybe they can say, ‘Oh you got it, my son got it.’”
Across the room, brothers Mikia Bullock and Eldridge Jacobs waited for the green light to leave the facility after receiving a vaccine.
Both of them said they were vaccinated so they can enjoy life more freely without the restrictions of a mask.
“You couldn’t do no touching, you couldn’t take your mask off and you had to be six feet apart,” Bullock said reflecting on life during the pandemic.
COVID-19 came knocking on their door in December of 2020. Their grandmother was first to contract the virus, but they say it was like a domino effect.
“My whole house had it, like it was bad,” Bullock said. “Turns out my grandma had it, I had it, my cousin had it and my papa had it."
It ultimately claimed the life of their auntie, who was their grandpa’s sister-in-law.
“It’s, it’s, it’s something that you never can get over,” Daron Jacobs said. “I really felt relieved and relaxed knowing that they are safer now.”