104-year-old Templeton woman lives through two pandemics, gets second COVID-19 vaccine

Joyce Wright.jpg
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 00:48:35-05

Not many people can say they've lived through two pandemics, but one Templeton woman can.

104-year-old Joyce Wright didn’t even flinch when she got her second COVID-19 vaccine at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds Thursday morning.

Getting vaccinated is a familiar experience for her.

“[My siblings and I] all had to be vaccinated before we could go into school and the vaccination spot was about the size of a nickel because they were vaccinated for more than one thing,” Wright said.

She remembers her measles and smallpox vaccinations growing up in Wisconsin and how they saved lives decades ago.

“It eliminated all those terrible diseases. There were sick people all around us,” Wright said. “My mother was always the one they called to come when they were sick because the closest doctor was like 15 miles away and there were no cars in those days. You had to go by horseback."

Nearly 100 years later, she's hoping the COVID-19 vaccines work the same.

She's ready to break free of isolation and visit with her grandchildren.

She has eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Wright’s great-granddaughter and caretaker, Hayley Riggs, took her to her Thursday morning appointment and has supported her along the way.

“I appreciate [Hayley] being there. I don't know what I'd do without her,” Wright said.

Wright even wrote a poem about her inoculation experiences. She said she is sending it to a family member who is skeptical about vaccines.

“I had to do something to try and get it over to her to get the vaccination and I didn't want to hurt her feelings., so I thought I would write this poem and maybe she would see it,” Wright said. “I don't think it helped much, but I tried."

Wright and her family say they are so thankful for the staff who helped her get vaccinated.