“It was scary.” That is how Bill Voss of Linn, Missouri describes his hospital stay after being infected with COVID-19. At the time, Bill had no idea he was infected. He knew something was wrong, however. Exactly what was wrong was not known until he arrived at the hospital later that day.

Once at the hospital, Bill was told he would be there for four or five days. He was there for about four and a half weeks. “What was horrible was the isolation,” said Bill. Before catching COVID-19, Bill was not vaccinated. He was unsure about the vaccine. He always thought the vaccine was for people who were inactive and were suffering from borderline conditions.

Bill is not alone, and the Missouri Immunization Coalition (MIC) is here to help. The MIC offers a wide range of education and resources to health professionals and the public. One of these projects is funded by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through its Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. Focusing on COVID-19, the project’s goal is to develop programs, training, and immunization events.

“We do this by building awareness for COVID-19 vaccines, educating healthcare providers, and advocating for policies that protect all Missourians with the goal of increasing vaccination rates throughout the state,” said Nicole Cope, MIC’s Executive Director.

One of the ways MIC builds awareness is by sharing stories like Bill’s. Since contracting COVID-19, Bill has been vaccinated. “It’s pretty easy to sit here now and say, yeah, I wish I would have gotten it,” concluded Bill.

Watch Bill’s Story in His Own Words