OC residents take the Covid-19 vaccine in hopes of contributing to the end of the pandemic

Image By: Susan Hernandez

About 30% of people in Orange County are fully vaccinated as of this week and another half million have received their first dose. We spoke to six residents in Anaheim and Santa Ana — some of the hardest-hit zip codes in the state — about their experiences with receiving the Coronavirus vaccine, including the symptoms they felt as well as their reasons for getting it.

At the end, el Don staff who have received their first dose share their own thoughts.

Cindy Sanchez, 24

Being an agricultural and food worker, Cindy Sanchez was eligible to receive her first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine. It was a quick process for her as it all happened within three weeks of her job notifying her of the appointment.

Sanchez received very mild symptoms like a headache and slight fatigue. The vaccine was important for her as she “didn’t want to get sick and had no idea how Covid could affect my body,” Sanchez says. 

“I am dealing with the pandemic by continuing to keep my mask on and still trying to not go out as much,” says Sanchez

Image By: Susan Hernandez
Photo by Susan Hernandez / el Don

Mario Paz, 24

Mario Paz, an Anaheim resident, received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

“The process of getting the vaccine was very simple… I was eligible for Pizer because my mother, a caregiver at a homeless shelter, helped me register on Othena”.

“I had almost zero to none symptoms minus slight arm pain”

Michelle Mariscal, 30

Michelle Mariscal, a Santa Ana resident, was eligible for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to working as an advocate at Wiseplace, a women’s homeless shelter. 

“It was a simple process where we just had to respond to an email and they automatically made our appointment,” said Mariscal

After Mariscal received her first dose, she was extremely sore. When she took her second dose 28 days later, her symptoms were slightly worse.

“I automatically felt nauseous and started getting a headache. It went away by the afternoon, but once I got home it hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately felt weakening with chills and a slight fever”. 

“I got COVID last year and unfortunately gave it to my boyfriend…I felt horrible and blamed myself for it so I wanted to make sure to get the vaccine to keep us safe”

“I’ll take days of vaccine symptoms in place of the weeks I had being sick with the Coronavirus”.

Image By: Susan Hernandez
Photo by Susan Hernandez / el Don

Santos Lagunas,53

“I was eligible because I am in customer service which classifies me as an essential worker.”

Lagunas was waiting to receive the vaccine because he was tired of being locked inside apart from leaving his house only for work. 

As for symptoms, Lagunas says “I am lucky I felt no one symptoms”

Ivana Hernandez-Zamarripa, 25

“ I was eligible for the Pfizer BioNtech Vaccine because of my position at a school, which luckily I felt no symptoms other than soreness,” says Ivana Hernandez-Zamarripa, a teacher at charter school, Vista Condor Global Academy in Santa Ana. 

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Hernandez-Zamarripa has had to teach her third-grade students through remote learning and hybrid-style classes. She always aspired to work in childcare, so her lifelong goal was one of the reasons she was motivated to take it. She also took the vaccine in the hopes it could be a step forward towards minimizing the pandemic. 

“I knew it was important for me to take this vaccine, so it could set an example for my students”, says Hernandez-Zamarripa.

Other than soreness in the arm to which the vaccine was administered, Hernandez-Zamarripa felt no other symptoms.

Image By: Susan Hernandez
Image By: Susan Hernandez

Armando Delgadillo, 44

Armando Delgadillo, an Anaheim resident, was eligible after his Aunt registered him as part of her job working as a medical assistant.

“I felt extremely dizzy within two hours getting the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, and it lasted for two whole days.”

Delgadillo’s family is the main reason he received the vaccine. 

“I wanted to get the vaccine to protect my wife and my newborn baby which I was very blessed to be comforted by”.


el Don Staff Experiences 


Vinh Nguyen

“The process went smoothly, with just a feeling of soreness”

“ I wanted to get the vaccine because I am currently a volunteer at Long Beach Veterans Affairs Hospital so I was require to get the vaccine, and additionally I had an underlying health condition”


Julian Reynoso

“I’ve only received the first dose of the vaccine, the symptoms were; headache, soreness in my left arm which was where the vaccine was administered, body aches, chills, and lightheadedness”

“I wanted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine so that I would be protected and also feel safer that this could help everyone in the long run.”


Carrie Graham

“ I was able to qualify because of a pre-existing condition, and I had mine done at the Disneyland Drive-Thru POD. Mine was super quick and easy”

“ I didn’t feel any symptoms aside from it being sore at the injection site, and that wasn’t any worse than other shots”

“I haven’t hugged my 98 year old grandmother in over a year. Since I have kids who go to school in person we’ve had to keep our distance, I’ll just be happy to not have to constantly worry about accidentally making a loved one sick, or killing them”

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