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If not missing graduation matters, this shot matters

AnnMarie Baker AnnMarie Baker, VCU Pharmacy student

As a student volunteer, AnnMarie vaccinated health care workers at St. Mary’s Hospital in December. At the end of the clinic, it was her turn to get the shot.

The VCU Pharmacy student jumped at the opportunity to protect not only herself but others. This shot matters because it’s a way to get back some of the many things she lost, like going out to dinner, grabbing coffee with friends and taking classes in a lecture hall.

“I really miss being able to hug my family and friends,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a sense of normalcy. I miss seeing everybody’s faces.”

Zoom calls only go so far, she said. She celebrated her grandfather’s 80th birthday virtually, but it wasn’t the same as being there. Still, despite the losses of the past year, the time-out hasn’t been completely negative .

“There's always something good, even if it's hard to see. It’s made everyone thankful for the little things. I try to remind myself that I'm very thankful for my health and to be in a place where I'm able to go to school and further my education to make life better for my patients and my community,” AnnMarie says. “We're never going to forget this period in our lives, and we'll always be grateful for what we have.”

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