My friend Lisa C. has earned three degrees (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – BSN, Critical Care Registered Nurse – CCRN, and Registered Nurse – RN), lives in Northern California, works part-time for two hospitals, and was part of a team that administered two rounds of COVID vaccines to one of them a few weeks ago.
We interviewed her about that particular experience.
SGD: When did you receive your first and second COVID vaccinations?
LC: I received my first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 19, and the second dose three weeks later on January 8.
SGD: Can you tell us about the process and the planning involved?
LC: Each of my hospitals has an algorithm that is used to determine which healthcare workers are at the highest risk for exposure to COVID-19. I was contacted directly by one of my administrators and given a date and time to come in for the vaccine.
Once I arrived, I needed to present my hospital ID badge and confirm that I was on the list of those eligible to receive the vaccine. It was made clear to me that this was optional, and that I could choose to decline. I signed my consent form, received the vaccine injection in my left arm, then had to be observed for 15 minutes for any side effects. During that time, I registered with the CDC so that they could continue to monitor for side effects. After that 15-minute waiting period, I was free to go home.
SGD: Which vaccine did your hospital receive?
LC: We’ve received both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are the only two that are currently approved by the FDA.
SGD: How did you feel after receiving that first shot?
LC: I was soooo happy I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Over the next couple days, I felt a little pain in my arm, along with a headache and fatigue. I knew that this was from my body working hard to make antibodies and build immunity, so I alternated taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen and told myself this was a small price to pay to be immune to COVID-19.
SGD: About a week later, you started giving vaccination shots to the first responders at a local hospital. How many did you do?
LC: We vaccinated about 125 people in one morning. We had to be strategic because the vaccine is fragile and requires special handling. We had a plan to safely vaccinate as many as we could, and it worked quite well.
SGD: What was your range of emotions as you provided an extra layer of safety to your hospital colleagues?
LC: It was a very exciting time for myself and those around me. We were feeling like this was the beginning of the end. I heard several people say, “All I want for Christmas is the vaccine.” It made me happy to see so many other people happy.
SGD: What did your friends say or how did they react as you gave them their first vaccination shot?
LC: Some had questions about side effects and how the vaccine works, which I was able to answer for them since I’d had extensive training. Quite a few times I heard, “This is the best Christmas gift ever!”
SGD: Have any of your friends contracted COVID because they are on a team of healthcare workers?
LC: Yes, I have a few friends who have become very sick after caring for patients infected with COVID-19. One was hospitalized for many weeks and we were all very concerned. Fortunately, he is now out of the hospital and doing better.
SGD: What are you looking forward now that you’ve had your second COVID vaccination shot?
LC: I want to hug my family. It’s been way too long!
SGD: Do you feel invincible now or just safer since you’re surrounded by patients and other healthcare workers on a daily basis?
LC: Ahhhh, I wish I could say I feel invincible, but the fact is there is still much we don’t know about transmission after the vaccine. I’m relieved to know I will not get sick from COVID-19 but, until we have more data, I’ll continue to wear my mask and keep my distance, so I can keep others safe.
SGD: Have you given any vaccinations to senior living communities or people who are 65 and older?
LC: I haven’t been to the senior living communities yet, but I’ve given some to those 65 and older, and I can hardly wait to give lots more!
SGD: Any final thoughts about the vaccine, the pandemic, or related issues?
LC: I want to thank all who are patiently waiting while the frontline workers get vaccinated so that we may continue to take care of those in need. The vaccines are just one of the many important tools to help us stop this pandemic. It’s important for everyone to continue to use all the tools available, so remember to wear a mask over your mouth AND nose, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds, wash your hands often, and get the vaccine when it’s your turn!
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SGD is a San Francisco Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded senior-oriented companies, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response.
About the Author: Gil Zeimer is a Partner at SGD Advertising.