She conducted her own research, reading up on the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine. Then, Nurse Natosha Stafford decided it was time to live as an example.

DEARBORN, Mich.—In the wee hours of the morning, before the sun greeted the Dearborn sky, Beaumont Health Labor and Delivery Nurse Natosha Stafford donned two triple strands of pearls, a casual blazer, and her Chuck Taylor gym shoes. 

It was Inauguration Day and Nurse Stafford wasn’t going to the hospital for work—she was going to receive her second and final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“I am super excited about the fact that I get to wear my pearls and Chucks today,” Stafford said as she headed to the hospital for her 7 a.m. vaccination appointment.

She told The ‘Gander that she felt a mix of anxious optimism and pride throughout the journey from first dose to total inoculation with the Michigan-made vaccine. Many of the state’s Black communities have expressed similar apprehension, and Stafford says she hopes to be an example for Black Michiganders.

“I just plan to have a stress-free, nap day,” she said during a panel discussion with The ‘Gander centered on vaccination hesitancy among Michigan’s Black communities. 

Stafford took the day off to self-monitor and be sure that she didn’t experience any side effects—and to celebrate the historic swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the country’s first Black, first South Asian, and first woman to hold the position.

After a full day’s rest, Stafford said she was feeling fine and went back to work with a smile that could be seen behind her mask, helping to deliver babies into a world with the promise of a vaccine against the greatest pandemic in modern times.

“I did it, I’m fully vaccinated,” Stafford said shortly after receiving her final dose. “Two down, the rest of the world to go. It’s up to you, America. Get vaccinated.”

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