LOS ANGELES (KGO) -- The answer was simple: No. Helen Cordova was not going to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
So how did she become the first person in California to get it? That answer is also simple: Education.
Cordova is an intensive care unit nurse at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and that's where she started on her mission to learn more.
"There was a lot of mistrust, and that's normal. It's new, it's unknown, and that's the same for the virus," Cordova said. "As the information started coming out about the trials, that started to spark my interest."
Cordova said she started having conversations with co-workers and really looking into the research about the vaccine trials.
"That's probably the best thing to do, educate ourselves, get the information ourselves. As I started to dig in a little more, I felt more at ease," she said. "I started changing my stance on it. I went from 'absolutely not' to 'sure, here's my arm, let's do it.'"
She received one of two shots on Monday, and says while it will take time to develop immunity, it's starting to ease her fear and anxiety at work.
Cordova has witnessed the devastation of COVID-19 first-hand.
"We've seen just far too many deaths, and far too many deaths of people alone without family members there to hold their hand and that probably could have been prevented," Cordova she said.
However, the vaccine is bringing hope to her and many others as it continues to get distributed across the county. Her message to anyone who does not want to get the vaccine is to read for yourself: "An informed decision is one of the best decisions you can make," Cordova said.
If you have a question or comment about the COVID-19 vaccine, submit via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic