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If just one life saved matters, this shot matters

Heba Abbassy Heba Abbassy, patient experience coordinator, VCU Health

Abbassy proudly wears not one but two buttons announcing her COVID-19 vaccination. Protecting each of us relies on all of us, she said. “It’s a duty we all share.”

The vaccine offers her the opportunity to visit family members in Egypt. It’s been years since she’s seen them.

“Our family is like that movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ We always have everybody's mother's mother, neighbors, cousins, uncles, aunts, or like somebody-we-don't-know-but-they’re-our-cousins come over,” Abbassy said. “I miss those gatherings.”

Before COVID-19, she felt divisions among people based on socioeconomic status, color or culture. Everyone seemed to be in their own world, she said. “But with COVID, it's brought everybody together because we're all one.”

This shot matters to her because it reflects how everyone’s looking out for one another.

“As much as I feel like I've missed out this year, I do think it was a blessing in disguise in some ways because it allowed us to sit and reflect on how important our health and safety is,” she said. “We were all concerned with things like where we're going to travel, money or what we’re going to buy next. And at the end of the day, when COVID hit, all I’m worried about is my health and safety. That’s what matters.”

To get vaccinated, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov. To read more stories like this, visit vcuhealth.org/thisshotmatters.