WATTS, Calif. — One of the secrets to Frank and Theresa Martinez's 50-years of marriage is making decisions together.
In February, Theresa and her husband decided not to get vaccinated, fearing the unknowns of how the COVID-19 vaccine may affect their health.
They’re both in their 70s, Theresa is a breast cancer survivor, and Frank is recovering from a recent stroke.
But a trip to Theresa’s primary care doctor quickly influenced a change of heart. She’s scheduled for a knee surgery in April, and before getting on the operating table, her doctor advised her to get vaccinated due to her age.
“I was iffy, on the verge of saying yes," Theresa said. "So, talking to everybody here and there ... I talked to my family and told them we have to do it."
And if she was going to get the shot, so was her husband.
They’ve both come to the decision, it’s what’s best for their health, marriage, and family.
“My change of heart was because I’m with my husband and we need to stay together. The longer we live the longer we’re happy,” said Theresa.
Research shows about 30% of Americans are hesitant or doubtful about getting COVID vaccinations.
While in line at a CVS location in Lynwood, waiting for her vaccination appointment, Theresa felt more comfortable seeing Latinos in her community trust the vaccine.
Los Angeles County Health data shows Latino and Black residents receive vaccinations at a significantly lower level than whites and Asian Americans.
In minority communities like South Gate, Lynwood, and Compton, 9% or less of its population have been vaccinated as of February.
Theresa said, “I’m really glad that I see a lot of our culture here taking our shots.”
In the brief moment of getting her first dose of the Moderna vaccine, all of her past vaccination fears disappeared.
"It was worth it," said Theresa. "It was a long wait but it was worth it."