Encouraging others to get a COVID vaccine

May 18, 2021

Whitney Howard has been working on campus throughout the COVID pandemic. A custodian at Yale Health, she is responsible for cleaning the fourth floor of that building. Over the past year, she has watched the changes, everything from cleaning protocols to the daily routine of the Yale Health staff.


At Yale two years now, Whitney grew up locally, graduated from Hillhouse High School, and worked previously as a manager at a local retail store and as custodian in the New Haven Public School system. She is close to her family, especially her twin sister, and loves her two dogs, one she rescued from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit in 2017.


During the workday, she keeps on top of her area and does what she can to assist people “in any way possible.” As someone who “likes to bring joy to those around her,” Whitney has had an interesting experience over the past year. Her job and that of all custodians was a daily goal of helping fight the spread of germs with a strict rotation of cleaning and disinfecting.


Concerned about preventing transmission of the virus and keeping herself healthy, Whitney was eager to get a COVID vaccine. As a frontline worker, she was able to get one this past January. “I believe I was the first custodian in my building to get vaccinated. I wanted the vaccine to prevent getting or spreading the disease,” says Whitney. Not long after that, she was approached to be photographed for the university’s “I Got My COVID Shot” campaign. The posters, featuring Whitney, Vincent Christie, and Jane Kinity, also Yale custodians, have been placed across campus in hallways, on bulletin boards, and in locker and breakrooms.


Since the posters appeared, Whitney has been approached by co-workers and has received calls and texts asking about her experience of getting the vaccine. “I spoke with many people who asked about any side effects (a sore arm),” says Whitney. “Several of them got their shots after speaking to me, which makes me feel pretty good. I told them by getting the shot, we help ourselves, families, and others.”


Big thanks to Whitney, Vincent, and Jane for participating in the poster campaign.


Latest information on the COVID -19 Vaccine from the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program

The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine is now authorized for emergency use in individuals 12 -15 years old.

In the early months of the pandemic, you may have heard that children are not likely to get COVID-19. However, kids can get severe cases of COVID-19. In recent months, we have seen an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Getting vaccinated is the best way for children to be protected. All age groups contribute to the spread of the virus. Vaccinating children helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across families, schools, and communities.  

Appointments are currently available through the Yale COVID-19 Vaccine Program at the Lanman Center as well as clinics and pharmacies throughout the state.

For questions, please can call the Yale Campus COVID-19 Resource Line at 203-432-6604 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week) to schedule an appointment or schedule it through MyChart.