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We all have a role to end the pandemic. Aaron Graham wants to bring COVID-19 vaccine to everyone who is eligible in Pierce County.

If someone would have told me one year ago  I would  serve as the mass vaccination clinic coordinator for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. 

But then again, this past year has put us all in situations we didn’t see coming.

I guess you could say I have been training for the job as the Health Department’s vaccination clinic coordinator for a long time. 

Aaron Graham talks to the media at a vacccination clinic.

After graduating from White River High School in Buckley, I joined the U.S. Army as a combat medic. I joined the military because I felt a responsibility to serve my country and help others. In the Army, I worked alongside some of the bravest men and women you could ever meet.

Because of them, I have memories that will stay with me always.

After completing my military service, I came back home to Pierce County and gained a handful of other medical credentials. 

I worked with American Medical Response as an EMT. I also worked as a phlebotomist at St. Joseph Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital and Enumclaw Community Hospital. 

COVID-19 opened another chapter for service.

When COVID-19 came on the scene last year, I once again felt the need to serve. I have family members who are immunocompromised. The more people who get vaccinated, the less they have to worry about. 

Vaccines are the best tool we have to put the pandemic behind us. That’s why I started as a volunteer at vaccine sites. I worked during the week as an electrician apprentice and volunteered my Saturdays to help vaccinate residents of Pierce County.

It wasn’t long before I was offered a position as a mass vaccination site lead. And after a month and a half, I moved to my position as mass vaccination clinic coordinator.

Working to help people get vaccine is one of the best jobs I’ve had, and I’ve had a lot of jobs. From beekeeper to apprentice electrician, I’ve always been someone who’s ready for a challenge. 

A “Jack-of-all-trades” résumé comes in handy.

As a clinic coordinator I wear a lot of hats. I help set up each vaccination site,  train new volunteers and employees, and  problem solve the tough spots all day during the clinic. Last week, I even had to fix a toilet.

Every time I give a shot, I tell people “Thank You!” because I know the vaccine is not only for themselves, but it’s for the people around them. It’s for people they have never even met.

And I always give a smile (through my mask), because who couldn’t use a smile? 

Let’s put COVID-19 behind us.

The pandemic has brought heartache and frustration for a lot of people. It has tested our patience and our resolve, but it has also shown us how strong we can be and how when given the choice, we will do the right thing.

Right now, the right thing is getting vaccine. I get it. Not everyone feels that way. People still have questions and concerns. It’s why we work so hard to get good, reliable information out through our website, our call center, social media channels, and through the news media and trusted community messengers—like me! 

Let us know your questions. We can do this, Pierce County. We can all be part of the solution. Let’s put this pandemic in the rear-view mirror and drive on. 

It is easier than ever to get vaccinated for COVID-19. You can walk-up or drive-thru at clinics around the county. Some even feature evening and weekend hours to make it more convenient if you work during the day.

If you need any help finding vaccine, sign up online for our COVID-19 Vaccine Help List. Or just call us at (253) 649-1412, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week!

It’s also important to continue to take all the steps possible to prevent the spread of COVID:

Learn more at tpchd.org/vaxtothefuture.