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If protecting the people you love matters, this shot matters

Saleh Smadi Saleh Smadi, student, VCU School of Dentistry

Smadi saw what COVID-19 did to his family in Jordan. The virus sent his mother to the hospital, took his aunt’s life and spread to Saleh’s father and siblings.

“Before anybody started to have symptoms, the whole family was infected,” Smadi said. “If you want to protect the ones you love, this vaccine matters.”

Feeling isolated in this age of social distancing, Smadi felt limited in his ability to play a part in fighting the coronavirus. About a year into the lockdown, he heeded a call put out by VCU seeking student volunteers to administer vaccines. He was one of more than 2,400 students and staff who responded.

Smadi participated in vaccine clinics at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the Richmond Raceway, churches and other sites. And that’s why this shot matters to him — it’s a way to help others.

“It's our ethical duty to help each other through this health crisis,” he said.

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