For Laura Conour, Getting Vaccinated Means Making Up for Lost Time with Her Parents

July 16, 2021

Elation.

Laura Conour with her two dogs.

Laura Conour

“Pure, unadulterated elation” is what Laura Conour felt when she was vaccinated, as if a giant weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Laura, the executive director of Laboratory Animal Resources at Princeton University, got vaccinated because she wanted to enjoy a full life as she had before the pandemic, including seeing her parents for the first time in 17 months.

“The power of science working together on a common theme made incredibly effective vaccines available to the world during one of the most devastating pandemics on record,“ Laura said. She chose to get vaccinated to stay alive, to not lose her wife, to not be a risk to family and friends, and to live again.

“The nature of my job as the University veterinarian is that I’m vaccinated for flu, measles, mumps, tetanus, rabies, Hepatitis B, and more. I treated this as another vaccine that will keep me safe,” she said. She and her wife got vaccinated together at a mega center, at first feeling a little leery of being around so many people after having been isolated through the pandemic, but quickly feeling at ease with everyone respecting social distance measures.

Now that she’s vaccinated, Laura headed off to see her parents for the first time in many months, noting that the time apart was brutal: “Every year counts when your parents are elderly.” Closer to home, she also rode in a car with vaccinated friends to walk the boardwalk in Ocean City, N.J. and hugged her aunt for the first time since early 2020. “The possibilities are endless. I did all these things without risk to me and more importantly, without risk to them,” she said.

Laura understands people’s hesitancy to get the vaccine and is offering to speak from her perspective as a scientist and a vaccinated individual with anyone who might like to discuss their emotions or fear. While she listens without judgment, Laura believes that getting vaccinated is the right decision for returning to life before the pandemic.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others. August 1 is the final day for faculty and staff to receive the last dose of the vaccine unless an accommodation has been granted. For complete information on the University’s vaccine requirements, vaccine clinics and more, visit Princeton COVID resources.

If you have a personal vaccine story you would like to share, contact Gloria Rosanio. The Office of Human Resources may use the answers and images you submit to develop content for our website, social media channels, and other materials that promote Princeton staff. If you have questions, contact the HR Communications Team.

For more Princeton vaccine stories, visit employee news.