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Dr. Peñalver respects her patients’ decisions. She also loves healthy conversations.

Dr. Stephanie Peñalver talks to a lot of patients about COVID-19 and the vaccines, and she hears a lot of questions.

“The decision to get vaccinated is an individual one,” she said. “I think that’s where having a primary care provider or physician that you trust is probably the most important aspect.”

Dr. Peñalver, from Community Health Care in Lakewood, says it’s important to listen to people’s concerns and help them work through those respectfully. She shares her experience with the vaccine, and why she believes it is our best path out of this pandemic.

She also explains that she doesn’t have a stake one way or another—except in trying to help ease the rush of patients to local hospitals.

“I’m not a social media personality,” she said. “I don’t benefit from anyone getting the vaccine, with the exception that if they decide to get vaccinated, that means I have fewer patients—or the medical community has fewer patients that we need to care for in the hospital with COVID.”