Raul Domenech, Local 1501 President 

I am a Senior Attendant at the New York Aquarium, where I clean and maintain the grounds. As an essential worker, I come in contact with the public daily. 

As a union leader, I want to set an example, so I decided to get the shot. I did my research. The information on the union website helped me make my decision. I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April. During the height of the pandemic, I was very concerned for my family and my coworkers. 

There was so much misinformation circulating back then. We didn’t know much about the coronavirus. At first, there was a shortage of PPE. I remember I met the DC 37 Safety Director Deborah Williams a few times in a Bronx parking lot to get masks for my members. I know coworkers who got sick from COVID-19. They were out of work for six weeks, two months. Some still have long-term effects from COVID.

I have a young child and a wife and I was very concerned about possibly bringing COVID-19 home to them. That’s the reason I chose to be vaccinated — to protect my family. Since I got vaccinated, I feel relieved. I feel a stronger sense of security for my family and myself.

As told to Diane S. Williams

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