105-year-old Rosemead woman gets second COVID-19 shot, survives two pandemics


Esperanza Carpio has seen a lot in her lifetime.

At 105 years old, the Rosemead resident has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement and now, two pandemics.

Carpio was about 3 years old when the Spanish flu pandemic swept over the world, which killed an estimated 50 million people during the deadly outbreaks of 1918 and 1919.

Now, more than a century later, she’s in the midst of another pandemic. This time, however, there’s a vaccine. 

Carpio, who just turned 105, received her second dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine at PIH Health Whittier Hospital on Friday, making her fully vaccinated.

The shot in the arm was a piece of cake for the centenarian, she said, adding that she still serves as a role model for her family.

Following her mother’s footsteps, 85-year-old Irene Carpio also got her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m so happy that my mother got her shots … I love her very much,” Irene Carpio said.

Suzie Sharp, Esperanza Carpio’s great niece and caretaker is also fully vaccinated. She said she’s happy that her great aunt will be able to see her grandchildren and other family members again.

“We’re a super hugging family, and it’s really hard when the family comes and we can’t just go up and hug them,” Sharp said.

Sharp said her great aunt has always been cautious about her health, so getting the COVID-19 vaccine was a no-brainer.

When asked about her secret to longevity, Carpio said she stays active, happy and surrounds herself with loving family and friends.

Chris Wolfe reports for the KTLA 5 News on March 20, 2021.

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