#Vax4Community: Jamile Torres’ Story

#Vax4Community: Jamile Torres’ Story


Jamile Torres is a mother, Community Health Worker at The Fortune Society, and recently, an advocate for those in her community getting vaccinated. Through a partnership with the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (PRC), Jamile shared the story of her and her family getting vaccinated as part of their #Vax4Community campaign. #Vax4Community’s goal is to build vaccine confidence by sharing personal stories of people who have gotten vaccinated in New York City.  

“I felt like I was already doing everything I had to do so there was no way that I was going to get COVID,” Jamile said.” I was scared of the vaccine, too, and I didn’t care what anybody said.”  

However, once her children went back to school in person and they had exposure to other kids who were testing positive, she saw their fear of getting sick and decided it was time to have her whole family get vaccinated.  

“When [my daughter] told me that she had been exposed, she had tears in her eyes – I could see how scared she really was. At that point, I said ‘okay, we’re going to get the vaccine,’” she explained.

"That was the reason I decided to do it - I saw the fear and anxiety in my children’s eyes,” Jamile said.

Since making the choice, Jamile has felt confident that she did the right thing for her family. Her daughter and husband ultimately were infected with COVID-19 during the Omicron variant wave in late December 2021, but because they were vaccinated, their cases were mild and manageable

“My daughter had symptoms, but I didn’t have to take her to the hospital. Because she was vaccinated, I could care for her at home,” Jamile shared.

Getting vaccinated has allowed her family to get back to the things they enjoy doing together – such as going out to restaurants or trips to Dave & Busters.

“I really made the right decision for [my kids] because I wanted them to try and somehow go back to feeling normal,” she said. “Even though we know it’s not going to be fully normal, being vaccinated makes it a little easier.”  

Jamile has some advice to share with those who still may be hesitant to vaccinate themselves, their children or their family: “I would tell them to consider the vaccine, not as a cure, but as something that will prevent them from going to the hospital or needing to be on a ventilator. We just never know how our body is going to react to anything. Just do it – it’s not going to hurt you. If anything, it will save you.”

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