UI Member Spotlight: Beth Hoots
By: Ixchel Urbano, SDSU Chapter Member
Meet Cecilia Cannata, a senior at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo graduating this spring! Cecilia is studying Nutrition, double concentrating in Nutrition Science and Applied Nutrition. She is also pursuing a minor in Dance. In the beginning of January, Cecilia received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine! She is happy to have had the opportunity and wants to provide insight to all of her WSS peers about what the experience entailed.
Cecilia was able to receive the vaccine early because she works at a local community hospital as a Dietary Aide in the Nutrition Department. Her job involves working with the Registered Dietitian and talking to patients about their dietary preferences to ensure they eat properly during their stay at the hospital. She also helps assemble and deliver their meal trays. Each patient has a specific diet they are on so it is important their meal is made accordingly. Cecilia said she was most motivated to get the COVID-19 vaccine by her patients; she has grown very close to them and wanted to take precaution to protect their health. The hospital she works at is small and does not get many patients with COVID-19 but the unpredictability of the virus led Cecilia to take the novel vaccine. Cecilia felt reassured in her decision when many of her coworkers took the vaccine as well to protect themselves and their patients.
She said her experience getting the vaccine was very easy and organized. As a hospital employee, she received a notification about the availability of the vaccine with designated times to receive it. She then went to a larger local hospital to get her first dose of the vaccine. Cecilia recalled how the hospital had laid out stations and tents set up for employees to receive their vaccination. After filling out several forms, Cecilia was able to receive the vaccine within ten minutes! Cecilia mentioned the actual vaccine itself did not hurt any more than any other vaccine she had previously received. After the initial injection of the vaccine, she had to wait fifteen minutes to ensure she did not experience an allergic reaction. That night, along with the next day, Cecilia’s arm was very sore but other than that she had no side effects. Within a few weeks time, she will go back to the hospital to receive her second dose of the vaccine!
The best advice Cecila has to give to her fellow WSS peers is to get the vaccine whenever that option may become available. She says it would be especially beneficial for anyone who is currently working in a setting where there is potential interaction with infected individuals. Cecilia does recommend that before taking the vaccine, everyone should do their research so they will be knowledgeable of what they are receiving and any side effects that may be experienced.
Cecilia is grateful to be able to work during the pandemic and help in any way she can. The Women in Science Society is proud to see our members, like Cecilia, be part of modern day history- working in a novel pandemic and taking a vaccine that was created in record time. We wish Cecilia the best for the end of her senior year and look forward to seeing all she will do as a professional healthcare worker!