99-Year-Old New Yorker and Others Share ‘Why We Got the COVID Vaccine’

For Lettice Graham, a 99-year-old New Yorker, the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic have been “some of the toughest.” In a YouTube video shared by NYC Health + Hospitals, Graham explains: “COVID changed our city. COVID made walking outside scary. COVID filled our hospitals, and our streets fell silent. We all missed out on being with our loved ones, friends and coworkers.”

“Let’s stand up to COVID,” Graham urges. “I got my COVID no-cost vaccine. …. Let’s all get protected so we can explore more, hug more, play more. COVID can’t control me, can’t control us, can’t control New York City.”

Graham’s story is part of a citywide public awareness campaign launched by NYC Health + Hospitals to get all New Yorkers vaccinated. New York City and other areas across the U.S. are experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases due to the BA.5 variant, which is extremely infectious.

More videos in the “This Is Why We Got the COVID Vaccine” campaign feature the stories of other New Yorkers, including:

  • Derek Josey, a patient who “got so sick with COVID,” and Donna Kennedy, the nurse who helped save his life.
  • Manjinder Kaur, chief nursing officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island, and her two daughters, who all got the COVID-19 vaccine because “it’s our best defense to be out in our city without the fear of getting too sick.”

The public awareness campaign emphasizes that the vaccine and booster cost nothing and are available to people no matter their insurance or immigration status.

The health system’s website has a dedicated COVID-19 vaccine hub with a wide variety of information and links to services, including informational fliers and FAQs available in 15 languages; information to schedule an appointment online or by phone, though walk-ins are welcome at certain vaccination sites; links to schedule free transportation to and from a vaccine appointment or to schedule in-home vaccination, if needed. Visit the COVID-19 vaccine hub on the NYC Health + Hospitals website.

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