UofL Health made history a week ago today when Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jason Smith, rolled up his sleeve to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky.
A week later, we caught up to the “Pfizer Five” to check-in on their symptoms and reflections after receiving the vaccine.
- Beth Sum, RN, hasn’t felt any side effects. Her arm was slightly sore after the initial stick, but she since feels better.
- Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, who has made national news with her article about her experience during the pandemic, is also feeling well. She reports no reactions besides a little arm soreness, which she worked out at the gym the next day after receiving the vaccine. You can read Dr. Briones-Pryor’s moving article here.
- LaShawn Scott, RN, is feeling great! She, too, had a little arm soreness, but it quickly went away as her workday wore on.
- Dr. Mohamed Saad is doing fine. After his vaccination, he went straight back to work on the ICU floor treating COVID patients and has continued to work since.
- Dr. Jason Smith didn’t have much to report. He cited no arm soreness or fatigue, just a sigh of relief that the vaccine is here and is getting distributed to our health care heroes.
As of this email, we have a little less than 550 team members vaccinated. Beth noted how her team members are cheering and celebrating after receiving their vaccinations.
“I feel like we’ve been in a rut after the newness of COVID wore off,” said Beth. “Now, we have something to look forward to and the next step in fighting the pandemic.”
LaShawn agrees, giggling at the fact that, for the first time, people are actually excited about getting stuck with a needle.
For team members who may be hesitant to get the vaccine, the Pfizer Five have some valuable advice.
“Do your research,” said Beth. “I know it’s scary but do your own research. Ask your questions and, in the end, do what’s best for yourself.”
LaShawn, who loves giving vaccinations, would like to encourage team members to talk to their health care providers about the vaccine and to get the vaccine. She would be more than glad to be your administrator!
Dr. Saad would like you to stay vigilant, to wear your masks, wash your hands, social distance and to not let your guard down. He also encourages those who are at high-risk of contracting COVID-19 to get vaccinated or talk to their health care providers if they are still on the fence.
“I had a coach that used to say ‘Beginnings are easy, but you have to finish the race,’” said Dr. Smith. “We need to finish strong. We need to care for one another and do everything we can to keep each other safe.”
As we continue to administer vaccines to our team members, we want to hear from you. If you have taken the COVID-19 vaccine, how has it given you hope? Share your story by emailing email@example.com with your name, title, department and facility and your story for a chance to be featured in upcoming newsletters. Be sure to add “Hope is found in U” to the subject line of your email.