COVID Vaccines Are The Way ForwardFebruary 22, 2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I received my first COVID-19 vaccination shot at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx on Jan. 20. Except for a slightly sore arm, I feel great. What’s more, I feel overwhelmingly relieved. As many of you know—and as I have openly discussed on our Tele Town Halls, Conference Calls and Zoom meetings—for the nine months, I’ve been isolating from my family, including my children and grandchildren, in an effort to protect them and myself. It’s been a difficult sacrifice, but to be sure a small one compared to sacrifices you have made on the front lines of the pandemic.
You have been warriors in this pandemic, saving lives, fighting for PPE, and implementing complex, new safety protocols that keep us all healthy. Now we have new tools in our arsenal: two vaccines that will protect our health and help put an end to this devastating pandemic that has ravaged the world and taken so much from so many of us.
Vaccinations are under way across the regions of our Union and we are doing all we can to ensure that vaccines are available to every 1199 front-line healthcare worker. We also understand that there is apprehension around the vaccines based on the speed at which they were developed, potential side effects, and our country’s history of racism and discrimination in health care. I want to assure you that 1199 believes the development and testing of the vaccines has been thorough, and information about efficacy has been forthcoming.
Over the last nine months, our workplaces and our communities have been devastated. These two vaccines are the way forward. While we would never support a mandate, we urge you to learn as much as you can about the vaccines, and when the time comes, to get vaccinated.
In the meantime, we will continue to provide up-to- date information about the vaccines, vaccination programs, and COVID-19. You can find the latest information and resources here.
Thank you for all you have done to heal our nation. I know that together, we will move forward to build a stronger, more united America.
President George Gresham