Phone: 408.269.4332
LOCAL 332
Why I Volunteered to Test the Covid Vaccine
Jun 17, 2021

By Sem Solomon

You may still be considering getting the Covid-19 vaccine. I wanted to share my story about my struggle with the lasting effects of the measles that a vaccine could have prevented. If I can save one life or one person from suffering, then this article will be worth it.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I noticed the press focused on the large number of Covid cases and deaths. To get away from the media’s overbearing tendency to report on “sensational news items”, I focused on the long-term effects of Covid. What really caught my attention was that those who recovered were still having to endure symptoms, possibly for the rest of their lives. 

I then turned my attention to vaccine research and began to notice that companies like Moderna and Pfizer were testing on large groups of volunteers. I started searching out opportunities to become a volunteer for one of their subsequent tests for the 55-80 age group. I did not find any information, until August 2020, when I got an email from Kaiser looking for volunteers for Pfizer’s vaccine. I responded immediately, and my first appointment was August 26, 2020. 

The reason I volunteered was because of what I have suffered from since 1948, at the age of six, when I contracted the measles. There were no vaccines for measles until 1962. My parents noticed that my right eye was crossing, and my hearing was significantly impaired. I had to start wearing glasses, but there was no treatment for my hearing loss. My right ear had suffered a severe loss, and my left had a slight loss, and became my “good” ear. 

I would have to ask teachers if I could sit in the first row. Most of them would allow it, but a few would not, and with a last name of Solomon, I often wound up in the back of the class when I had to sit in my “alphabetical seat.” Many issued ugly comments like “listen harder” or “pay attention” or “don’t be lazy.” Hearing loss also impacted my speech, and some people would ridicule me behind my back. No one should have to go through what I did. 

Fast forward to 2021 when I’ve seen people I know struggle with Covid. Some of those who have recovered have lost their sense of smell and taste. A friend who loved the taste of coffee has had to give up that pleasure because it now tastes like dirty water. It is a similar experience to what I have had to go through all my life. 

My sense of hearing has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I can no longer enjoy theater plays, movies, music, or involved conversations. We do not know what the long-term effects of Covid are. I would encourage everyone to be vaccinated against this insidious disease and avoid any disruption to a positive, healthy lifestyle. Listen to the scientists and get vaccinated as soon as you can.

– Sem Solomon


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Contact Info
IBEW Local 332
2125 Canoas Garden Ave, Ste 100
San Jose, CA 95125
  408.269.4332

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