Students – and adults – roll up their sleeves at Hogan College in Vallejo – Times-Herald


Nelson Mandela once said: “The courageous man is not the one who is not afraid, but the one who overcomes that fear. “

Make this brave man, woman and youngster, at least at Touro University’s latest pop-up vaccination clinic on Tuesday at Hogan High School, where about fifty of them proudly walked out with a mini-Band Aid on the arm of their choice.

Count Mechesica Merisieo, 12, among the reluctant who came out relieved. Staring into space as Touro student Sherlia Cayanan stabilized the syringe, Merisieo said minutes later that it was nothing.

“I thought it was going to hurt, but it doesn’t,” she said. “It was just like someone had pinched you.”

Cayanan said she tells first-time visitors “that it will be fine.” I ask them if they want to have a countdown and I try to put them at ease.

Merisieo said she could now tell her equally worried friends “it’s not that bad”.

Mechesica Merisieo was nervous as Touro’s student Sherlia Cayanan inoculated the 12-year-old at Tuesday’s pop-up clinic at Hogan High School. Meriseio’s mother, Marie Nella Lundy, recorded the moment on her cell phone. (Rich Freedman / Times-Herald)

As Merisieo mustered the courage, her mother documented the historic moment with cell phone video and was delighted her daughter had received the first dose.

“I want her to be safe and protect those around her,” said Marie Nella Lundy.

Another parent, Johnnie Sanchez, brought in his 12-year-old son, Jonathan, for a second dose of Pfizer.

“He’s got more protection now,” said Pops Sanchez, acknowledging his son was “a little nervous” about getting the shot the first time around.

“At the same time, he was happy. He has a little sister and a cousin and was doing it for them. He wants to protect them, ”Sanchez said.

It was the “COVID-19 VACCINATIONS HERE” banner outside of school that caught Sagal Purcell, acknowledging procrastination as the reason she delayed immunization as someone “barely under 40” qualified some time ago.

“Honestly, I was looking forward to feeling a little more secure and alleviating some of the stress we’ve been through,” said Purcell, hoping to convince those who are hesitant to get the vaccine.

“Now I can speak from experience,” she said.

Health worker Paul Gonzales, 30, sat down for his first dose, getting vaccinated “to protect myself, my family and the patients I see in clinics.”

“Not at all” worried, Gonzales said “a lot of people’s fear is due to misinformation. Social media has played a big part in this.

Gonzales said he has “seen a lot of patients turn positive for COVID and they change their minds” about getting the vaccine when they see the effects (of the virus).

A few dozen Touro students took on various tasks at the clinic on Tuesday, including Gurshaun Clar, 24, a sophomore medical student, a “vaccine ambassador”.

“Overall, it’s a fulfilling feeling” to work with the pop-up clinics, he said, acknowledging that the variant had pushed a new group of participants into the clinic.

“Before, people thought it only affected people in poor health. The variant is more transmissible. It changed the perspective, ”Clar said.

“I think concerns about the delta variant have boosted demand,” said Sarah Sweitzer, Marshal of Touro. “We have seen the number of people now willing to be vaccinated. “

The FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine has also attracted “some skeptics,” added Sweitzer.

It was the 30th pop-up for Touro, with clinic clients accepted “ages 12 to 112,” Sweitzer said.

The pop-up clinic was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and Partnership Solano County.

This clinic is part of Touro’s “TouroCARES MVP” program aimed at improving access to vaccination in underserved communities.

Upcoming clinics include: September 5, St. Marks Lutheran Church, Fairfield; September 10, Faith Food Fridays, Vallejo; September 12, Apostolic Church of Temple Emmanuel; September 12, People’s Garden, Mare Island; September 13, Lycée Bethel; September 17, Finney School; September 23, Hogan College.

Vaccinations are available to anyone from 12 years old and there is no need for an appointment. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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