Tricia’s COVID-19 vaccination story

Tricia Malowney is a Director of Scope’s Board. An advocate and activist who is passionate about empowering people with disabilities, Tricia also has a disability. Here, she shares how she made the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccination, and some advice to help you make your decision.

Yay, I have just had my first COVID-19 vaccination!

Some people wonder why I am so excited at having a needle. Let me tell you what I thought about before I agreed to have the injection.

I needed to think about how my life has been limited because I have been working from home for a long time.

I have a weak immune system because I had polio when I was a baby and my lungs are very weak, so I am more likely to get COVID-19 if I come into contact with it.

Tricia Malowney getting her first COVID-19 vaccination injection. She is sitting in a chair and wearing a facemask. To the right of the image, a nurse's hands with blue gloves on are injecting the needle into Tricia's left upper arm.

I wanted to make sure that it was safe. I spoke to my doctors, especially my lung specialist, to see if it was right for me.

I made my decision after thinking about it carefully.

I also thought about why I have a disability. It’s because there was no vaccine available to prevent polio when I was a baby.

It’s important to understand the difference and similarities between polio and COVID-19.

I contracted polio in the middle of an epidemic, which is when there is an outbreak of a disease in a place. So, when I contracted polio it was in Melbourne in July 1954. Other outbreaks of polio occurred in January to March in Western Australia and in March in Canberra the same year.

The difference with COVID-19 is that it is a pandemic, which is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

The similarities are that they are both spread the same way, by close contact with someone who has the disease. And both are spread by airborne droplets.

Only you can make the decision to have the injection, but I hope that you understand why I am so passionate about vaccination.

My advice is to talk to the experts about how it will affect you. Social media is very good for communicating with others, but listen to your doctor when you make your decision.

Some questions to ask are:

  • How many injections will I have to have?
  • Is the vaccine dangerous?
  • Will I feel sick after I have the vaccine?
  • Who should I talk to if I feel sick?

I hope that this will help you make a decision about having the COVID-19 vaccine.

More information about COVID-19 vaccines

For the latest news and information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website. You can also find Auslan videos and Easy Read resources about COVID-19 vaccines there.