Vaccine Testimonials

In May 2021, Optima Health and Virginia Premier partnered with Rite Aid to host a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic for our health plan members. With the goal of providing a free and easy way for members to get vaccinated, Virginia Premier and Optima Health worked together to get the word out via social media, community outreach flyers, and emails. Members registered for a time slot online to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and could return in exactly three weeks for their second dose. The clinic was a success with almost 150 members getting fully vaccinated.

At Optima Health, we know how important it is to ensure our members are as healthy as possible. We wanted to create a clinic experience that would fit into members’ busy schedules but also be relaxed and welcoming. We always aim to understand our members’ needs, challenges, and thoughts. During the second week of our vaccine clinic, we reached out to members attending the clinic to ask about their experience and thoughts surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are excited to share what they said.


Smiling woman who just received vaccine shot in arm

Rhonda Moseley | Optima Health Commercial

Optima Health: We recognize that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice, but if you don't mind sharing your decision we'd like to ask, why did you choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine today?

Rhonda: I decided to get it because I want to be able to see my parents and my grandmother, and just be able to hang out with my family and friends. Like normal, without getting anyone sick or anyone getting me sick. My son graduates from high school on June 17th so I'm looking forward to attending his graduation. We're going to have a big celebration with my parents. We can be comfortable because we’ll be vaccinated, and it will be a great family gathering!

Optima Health: What do you want to tell others who are hesitant about getting vaccinated? Should others get vaccinated?

Rhonda: Most definitely, if you have elderly people, family, or friends that you want to be around or even kids. If you want to go back to your normal living, like going out, and enjoying life - it is best to get vaccinated. It’s on the safe side. I recommend that to anybody you know, it’ll save your life and others.


Vaccinated smiling woman in wheel chair with younger boy pushing her

Mahalia Jackson | Optima Health Medallion 4.0

Optima Health: We appreciate you coming over this way to talk to us. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Mahalia: I'm originally from Trinidad. I live in Richmond, and my insurance set up the appointments for me.

Optima Health: What do you want to tell others who are hesitant about getting vaccinated? Should others get vaccinated?

Mahalia: Yes, they should get vaccinated. I was a bit skeptical, but I said it's better to get a little sick than totally knocked down and can't get up.

Optima Health: Is there anything about your experience today that you would like to add that I may have forgotten to ask you?

Mahalia: Oh yeah, ya’ll are a pleasant crew.


Vaccinated man sitting on bench outside of hospital

Ryan Gray | Optima Health Commercial

Optima Health: Thank you so much for coming in and conducting this interview, Ryan Gray. We’ll start off with you telling me a little bit about yourself.

Ryan: I’m from Richmond. I'm a youth minister in my church. I'm in ordained ministry and I work at Five Guys. I have three brothers and three sisters- a big family! Well, I decided to get my vaccine because I figured that if I didn't, it would take a long time for us to get back to the norm. It would be better and more efficient to get it, so I'm just covered all around.

Optima Health: What do you want to tell others who are hesitant about getting vaccinated? Do you think others should get vaccinated?

Ryan: I do, I really do. I haven't had any negative effects from it so far. It’s not going to do anything but protect your immune system. It protects you if you do get it. So, I encourage anyone that is on the fence about getting it.


Woman sitting on bench outside of hospital

Anonymous | Optima Health Medallion 4.0

Optima Health: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Anonymous: Well, I'm from New York and I moved down here with family. I was adopted. I've been out here for 10 years; I have a little son and he's 6 and we have been here ever since.

Optima Health: We recognize that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. If you don't mind sharing your decision, why did you choose to get your COVID-19 vaccine today?

Anonymous: Well, I like traveling a lot. I like to be safe while I'm traveling. And, there are things I like to do without my mask, and I always want to be protected.

Optima Health: What do you want to tell those who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Anonymous: Honestly, I think everybody should do it. It's for your protection, your safety and everybody else around you.


Elderly man sitting outside of hospital wearing a mask after being vaccinated

Kenneth Hines | Optima Health CCC Plus

Optima Health: Good morning, Kenneth. Thanks so much for coming out here. How long have you been in Richmond?

Kenneth: I’ve been in Richmond since ‘79.

Optima Health: It is very nice meeting you. We recognize that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. If you don't mind sharing your decision, why did you choose to get your vaccine today?

Kenneth: Because of the odds of people dying and the recovery rate.

Optima Health: In about 2 weeks after your vaccine has boosted your immunity to the coronavirus, tell me what you're looking forward to doing that you can't do now.

Kenneth: Being out in public and exposed to other people. I was leery of kicking this disease before my vaccine.


Woman sitting on park bench outside of hospital

Madonna Thompson | Optima Health Commercial

Optima Health: Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Madonna: I’ve been a nurse for the past 10 years. I am a mother of one, she's 13 and a teenager.

Optima Health: We recognize that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice but if you don't mind sharing your decision, why did you choose to get your COVID-19 vaccine?

Madonna: I work in healthcare. I had a lot of hesitation at first, but I did some research, and at the end of the day, I want to protect my community and my family. My mom is older; she’s 74 and I want to be able to hang out and do things with her, but I want to protect her as well.

Optima Health: In about 2 weeks after vaccine has boosted your immunity to the coronavirus, tell me what you're looking forward to doing that you can't do now?

Madonna: I am looking forward to traveling and going outside. I'll still be cautious with the mask, but I'm a huge hugger so the social distancing has been killing me for a year. I like to hug people and love on people.

Optima Health: Is there anything about your experience with us that you would like to add that I may have forgotten to ask you?

Madonna: It’s a really great experience and very welcoming.


Young man sitting on park bench outside of hospital after receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Theodore Stewart | Optima Health Commercial

Optima Health: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Are you from Richmond and how long have you been here?

Theodore: Yeah, I’m a VCU student, I transferred here in November. I’m going into my senior year - a marketing major.

Optima Health: We recognize that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. But if you don’t mind sharing your decision, why did you choose to get your COVID-19 vaccine?

Theodore: I work in a restaurant and we must get vaccinated, so it was accelerated. Also, I wanted to do a lot of traveling this summer and go to the gym. I don't feel comfortable taking my mask off even when I'm working out, so it gets frustrating when it is supposed to be fun. Also being able to spend time around my grandparents. I haven't been able to be indoors with them because they are high risks.

Optima Health: That’s great! So what do you want to tell others who were hesitant about getting vaccinated? Should others get vaccinated?

Theodore: I think everyone should get vaccinated, I don't think everyone should be forced to, but I don't think there's anything to be like scared of.