Compiled by Puyallup Tribal News Staff



Shannel Janzen, Wrap Around Program Manager

Why I got the COVID-19 vaccine…


I wanted to first off start by saying thank you to the tribe and our health clinic staff for the opportunity to receive the vaccine. I received the vaccine for many reasons.


• I wanted to protect all the community members I work with.


• I got it for all the Elders in my life.


• I got it for myself, because I would rather feel sick for a day than risk what might happen if I got the virus.


• I got it because I am ready to get back to a semi normal life, where I can spend time with friends and go to community events.


Thank you again to our tribe for this opportunity!


Shannel Janzen
Wrap Around Program Manager



I got the COVID vaccine for myself, my family and my community. It was a tough decision to be honest and as I have told others about the vaccine it’s as simple as this “Choose your poison: side effects from the shot or COVID.” The answer is simple! I choose to be safe. Protect our most valuable resources which is us, the membership.


Thank you.


Dennis Young
Security Manager
Public Safety Office
Puyallup Tribe of Indians


Lynnette Bedford, Elders Care CNA

My name is Lynette Bedford and I work in the Elders department.


I got the vaccine first off to protect my Elders. I work closely with the Elders on a daily basis. I feel it is my duty to serve and protect them, and I could do that by getting the vaccine.


Second, I got it to protect the ones I love. COVID hit my sister’s household. Out of 9 people, 7 got COVID. My strongest sister ended up in the hospital on a bi-pap machine. She almost lost her life (we call her Wonder Woman). My other sister who has Down Syndrome is a high risk only had a runny nose.


You don’t know if you are asymptomatic and spreading it. It can kill the unexpected and leave them weaker than ever before.


So last I got it to protect my community because if I can stop the spread with me, why not protect the ones we care about and love.


Lizetta Kelly,
Administrative Operations Coordinator

I got the COVID-19 vaccine because I had prayed for this day.


As I was sitting there in the chair about to receive the vaccine, I was looking around at the other Elders that we there with me. As they were getting ready to give me the shot, all of a sudden tears came to my eyes – I felt so overwhelmed with happiness and sadness. I was actually getting the VACCINE! I was so humble thinking about how lucky I was to be there to receive this wonderful gift when so many have died.


Every day I think: Never take a day for granted!


Thank you.


Lizetta Kelly
Administrative Operations Coordinator


Russell L. Hanscom, RN, MHA
Executive Director, Elder Services

Getting vaccinated provided me with a sense of tremendous relief.


Until Jan. 29, I’ve been very fearful I, or someone in our department, would transmit the virus and fatally infect an Elder. That fear is now gone.


But I didn’t get the vaccine because I was afraid, I got vaccinated because I love our Elders and care deeply for the Tribe. If I can protect the Tribe by getting vaccinated, then I’m going to, I hope everyone who comes in regular contact with Elders will make the decision to get vaccinated.


This is a war and getting vaccinated is the best way for community to claim victory over the virus.


Russell L. Hanscom, RN, MHA
Executive Director, Elder Services


Lisa Pemberton, Puyallup Tribal News Editor

Here’s why I got the COVID-19 vaccine:


Because I love my husband of 29 years, my Walks Beside for Life. After suffering two strokes a few years ago, he has lung issues that put him at a high risk for complications for the virus. Throughout the pandemic we have done everything we can to protect him, including holding household-only holiday dinners.


Because I love my family — the ones who live close by but can’t come into my house; the ones who live on Quileute reservation which has been closed for nearly a year; the ones who live across the country, who I hope to visit later this year after there’s less risk I’ll carry germs and make them sick. I miss hugging all of my relatives!


Because I trust the Puyallup Tribe’s medical director Dr. Alan Shelton who says it’s safe. I trusted his advice during my first pregnancy, and am trusting his advice now.


Because I miss regular life — Friday night football games, going to the movies, singing and dancing at karaoke night with my friends, drinking coffee and laughing for hours with my best friends without masks and a six-foot shouting distance.


Because I had an opportunity to get one and start protecting the community I live in, and the Tribal community that I work in.


Lisa Pemberton (Quileute)
Content Manager and Puyallup Tribal News Editor
Puyallup Tribe of Indians



Share your reasons for the vaccine


Sharing your story may help others decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is important to help protect the Tribal community. We’d love to hear from other Tribal Members, Tribal employees and community members. Please send a quote about why you got the COVID-19 vaccine and a photo to news@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov. Submissions may be published on Puyallup Tribal platforms including newsletters, social media and Puyallup Tribal News.