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More than a year after the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, roughly half of Montgomery County residents have been fully vaccinated, and over 60 percent have had at least one dose, according to the county vaccination dashboard. In the interest of promoting vaccination, members of the Montgomery College community share their perspectives.

Montgomery College Dean of Chemical and Biological Sciences Dr. James Sniezek

Montgomery College Student Sean Quiroga
Montgomery College Student Sean Quiroga says he wants to get back to somewhat of a normal life

“I could not wait to get vaccinated.  I wanted to protect my family from COVID.  As a father, I wanted to make sure I did not give the virus to my wife and kids. As a son, I did not want to give the virus to my aging parents. As a teacher, I wanted to protect my students and as a citizen, I did not want to unknowingly infect someone else in my community.  I felt really relieved after receiving my shot. I once again enjoy seeing my parents and friends.”

Montgomery College Student Shannon Killoran

“I received the vaccine to ensure the safety of my family and myself, and to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Montgomery College Student Sean Quiroga

“Once COVID-19 was declared a national emergency back in March of 2020, the whole world wondered how we would get through and when we could go back to our normal lives. My first thought was that if I were to get the virus, I would be fine, and it would just be like a cold or the flu.”

“After more research and studies done by the doctors and scientists of the world, I realized that this was not the case. While it’s true that if you are young, healthy or both, you will probably not be hospitalized or even die from this virus, the virus has shown that it can affect the heart, lungs, and has given people who are fully healthy serious long-term health conditions.”

“At the very beginning of the pandemic, it was about protecting the people in my family who were vulnerable to this virus, but as we learned more about it, it also became about protecting myself as well. Therefore, I have and will continue to encourage people of all age groups, races, ethnicities, and nationalities, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The fight to go back to a new normal is not a man versus man, but it’s man versus this virus, and the only way we get back to that is by taking the vaccine.”

“We must put the trust into our scientists and medical experts that this vaccine will work, and so far in other countries it has. I will be fully vaccinated not only because I have trust in the scientists, but I want to get back to somewhat of a normal life. I want to go back and see my friends indoors, I want to have family reunions again, I want to get back to school and have face-to-face contact with my teachers and classmates.”

“I wanted to keep everyone I love and care about safe,” says Montgomery College History Professor Vincent Intondi

Montgomery College History Professor Vincent Intondi

“I got vaccinated because I wanted to keep everyone I love and care about safe. I did not want to be the reason that someone else got COVID. Of course, I, too, did not want to get COVID. I got vaccinated as soon as possible. I have not seen my [extended] family in over a year and now that will happen very soon. Quite frankly, the question is not why I am vaccinated, but why isn’t everyone? Science has done an amazing thing in getting a vaccine out so quickly. Now we must do our part. It is simply the right thing to do. And lastly, I cannot wait to be in the classroom once again. Every person affiliated with MC who gets vaccinated makes that more of a reality.”

Montgomery College Biology Professor Dr. Meg Birney

“I would love to fly home to Alaska and visit my family. One of my sisters is a kidney transplant recipient so she can’t mount a normal immune response. This means to visit her, everyone must be vaccinated to protect her from getting COVID. In addition, I would love to go back to getting together with friends without masks on and I would love to go back to teaching in person. I miss the contact that I have teaching face to face, especially in MC’s biology labs.”

Montgomery College Communications Coordinator Brady Patton

“As Montgomery College employees, my wife Rachel and I have been doing our part in keeping the community safe. Rachel is expecting our first child this June, so I was immediately focused on keeping her safe. Rachel’s doctor advised her not to get vaccinated until after giving birth, and that made me want to get vaccinated even more. Knowing I am helping protect my wife and soon-to-be daughter is all the reason I needed.”

Editor’s Note: The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Montgomery College and its employees.

Banner photo: Dr. James Sniezek, Instructional Dean, Chemical and Biological Sciences, shows off his vaccination bandage.


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