On Dec. 16, the first group of eligible staff began receiving the vaccination for COVID-19. Brigham Bulletin recently asked several members of the Brigham community why they were looking forward to being vaccinated.


“I feel very fortunate to be in a position to receive this vaccine. As we are in the midst of another surge, I just hope distribution can occur fast enough to decrease further illness and fatalities. I feel comfortable receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because I am confident in the endless efforts and commitment of all who participated in developing it.”

— Cyndi Slater, BSN, RN, CCRN
Nurse-in-Charge, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)



“If I believe it’s the right thing for society, then it’s the right thing for me and my family as well. I want to be beyond this epidemic as much as anybody else. I’m going on service later this month and will be taking care of COVID-positive patients, so I’m definitely looking forward to having this additional layer of protection.”

— Michael Klompas, MD, MPH
Hospital Epidemiologist


“I watch the news every morning and read a lot of the articles. I believe the vaccine is very safe, and I want to be the first in line to get it! Working in Environmental Services, we have gone through a lot — especially at the beginning of the pandemic — and it’s been very hard. I want to feel safer coming to work. I know the vaccine has some secondary effects, but I prefer to deal with those mild symptoms at home one day than to get COVID and possibly be on a ventilator in the hospital.”

— Vilma Vargas
Supervisor, Environmental Services
Connors Center for Women and Newborns


“I am very excited about starting the vaccines for all of our faculty and staff and view it as the ‘beginning of the end of the pandemic.’ Of course, I am also ready to get the vaccine personally as soon as I am eligible to receive it, based on Mass General Brigham (MGB) guidance. The FDA and CDC work and reporting, as well as our own Harvard and MGB review of the data, have given me confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective and made me ready to move forward. I don’t think I or others will feel completely comfortable until all of our families and friends can receive the vaccine, so we will have to remain careful and vigilant with our masking and distancing until that happens!”

— Sunil Eappen, MD, MBA
Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer



“I have tremendous faith in the scientists, doctors, and public health officials who have helped create and facilitate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. I look forward to being vaccinated for not only my own personal health but also for the health of my family, friends, patients and the wider community in which I interact.  Vaccines are about population-wide health. In getting vaccinated for COVID-19, I will be proud to be part of a widespread effort to reinvigorate community-wide physical health, emotional well-being and economic vitality.”

— Karen Lovely, PT, DPT
Senior Physical Therapist, Rehabilitation Services



“I am excited and extremely comfortable getting the COVID-19 vaccine because I believe it will be reassuring for my primary care patients to know that their doctor has personally gotten the vaccine and advocates that they should as well.  This is especially important for my older Vietnamese-American and Asian-American patients who may have a general distrust of vaccines to know that their Vietnamese-American doctor has received it. I also believe the vaccine will be another layer of protection for me against COVID-19.”

— David Duong, MD
Primary Care Physician, Phyllis Jen Center for Primary Care
Associate Physician, Division of Global Health Equity


“I plan to get vaccinated because I work with COVID-positive patients and need that extra protection. I was a little apprehensive at first, given it’s a new vaccine, but I feel that if the organization believes it’s safe for our physicians and other clinicians caring for our patients, then it must be safe. It feels good that we finally have something that offers hope of slowing or stopping this pandemic.”

— Marta Solis
Medial Interpreter, Interpreter Services


“I’m very excited and definitely plan on getting the vaccine when I’m able to. We’ve been in this pandemic for nine months, but somehow that nine months feels both like nine years and nine days. The current case numbers in our country have shown that social distancing and mask wearing isn’t enough. I believe that our way out of this pandemic and back to some form of normalcy is through a safe and effective vaccine. I’m excited that there’s a vaccine on the horizon and I’m excited for everyone and their communities to be able to receive it.”

— Bruce Bausk
Senior Research Assistant
Vaccine Research Team, Division of Infectious Diseases


“Like everyone, I’m relieved and elated that people will finally have access to a vaccine and I’m proud of the Brigham’s important role in getting us to this point. When it’s my turn (Wave D), I’ll be excited to get the vaccine. I’m also well aware that there’s still a lot of work to be done. Vaccine clinical trials are still underway, both to evaluate additional COVID vaccines and to continue the trials for the vaccines that have already been established. We still have a lot to learn about sustained immune response to COVID and these trials — and a number of other important research projects at the Brigham — will be critical to understanding that. We also continue to push the boundaries of diagnostic testing for COVID, both so that there will be a broader array of highly sensitive and specific testing tools accessible to as many people as possible and to provide the tools necessary to fully understand immune response to COVID.”

— Allison Moriarty, MPH
Vice President, Research Operations


“I am looking forward to receiving the vaccine. Based on our knowledge about the virus and long-term effects, I am hopeful that this will help decrease the spread of the virus. The vaccine will help us from getting seriously ill even if we get the virus. I think the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risks of this virus.”

— Lisa Hyde-Barrett, RN
Staff Nurse, PACU



“My main motivation to get the COVID-19 vaccine is to help reduce the spread of the virus amongst our community. I also hope that by getting vaccinated I will be able to positively demonstrate the importance of taking care of our health and each other.”

— Nawal Nour, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology