Indiana woman, 111, receives COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Just get the shot’

Bernice Bohannon said afterward that she'd been looking forward to it, and getting the shot was virtually painless.

A 111-year-old woman in Indianapolis received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Bernice Bohannon told reporters afterward that she had been looking forward to it and getting the shot was, for her, virtually painless. 

“You could feel it a little bit but it wasn’t bad,” she noted. “You just gotta take care of yourself … Just get the shot!”

Bernice Bohannon got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Indiana University Health Neuroscience Center in Indianapolis, where she’s shown, just two days after her 111th birthday. (Indiana University Health)

Bohannon shared that she hoped her experience would encourage others to get vaccinated. 

She got her shot at the Indiana University Health Neuroscience Center in Indianapolis just two days after her 111th birthday. The registered nurse who administered the vaccination praised her.

“We appreciate you for letting us serve you today,” said Jalissa Hurd. “You crossed so many bridges for us, and it’s an honor to serve you.” 

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IU Health shared a video of Bohannon getting her injection Tuesday on their Facebook page.

Late in the clip, Hurd says, “You have that opportunity in nursing to be impacted and to impact, but today … just her presence and being there to assist in her decision was impactful.”

“It was something that was positive to me, I’m full of hope, full of excitement, I’m happy that she selected IU Health,” she continued. “I’m happy I was selected to participate in this historical moment … she allowed us to participate to serve her and put a stamp in history.”

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The centenarian lives alone, but has a home health aide who checks on her several times a week, as does her great-nephew, who drove her to her vaccination appointment. 

Bohannon has survived the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the Great Depression, and now the coronavirus pandemic. Her great-nephew, Ken White, says that’s just part of who she is. 

“She’s lived a good life,” he said, according to People magazine. “She hasn’t been in poverty, she hasn’t been in a life where she was without … she’s outlived her children, her husband, most of our relatives, and just about all of her friends.”

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