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5 UofL Health employees ‘feel great’ after getting COVID vaccine

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 9:40 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Five people who received the Pfizer COVID vaccine a week ago say they are feeling good.

On Dec. 14, five UofL Health employees rolled up their sleeves in front cameras to get the vaccine. They told WAVE 3 News they did because this virus is personal to them.

“You are dealing with COVID patients, risk of exposure to your health care staff who are your friends and family, you are worried about taking that home to your family,” Chief Medical Officer for UofL Health Dr. Jason Smith said. “I didn’t have much of a sore arm or anything after the vaccine. I didn’t have any of the fatigue or other things.”

Monday, one week after receiving the vaccine, they said they have no regrets.

“I have had no side effects, my arm was slightly sore,” UofL Health nurse Beth Sum said.

Another doctor at UofL who manages a COVID unit agreed.

“My arm was sore for 24 hours,” Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor said. “I went to the gym the next day.”

“I feel great,” LaShawn Scott, a UofL nurse, also said. “The only side effect I had was a little sore arm. That went away very quickly.”

Dr. Mohamed Saad said he worked the same day he received his vaccine, and everything has been fine ever since.

“No side effects,” Saad said.

Smith said the vaccination felt like a step forward but not enough for him to let his guard down.

“People think that the vaccine [means] oh, you don’t have to worry about it anymore,” Smith said. “That’s not the case. We are still wearing the same PPE we were wearing before and will continue to do so.”

Despite that, he claimed he’s not concerned about long-term side effects.

“The vaccines we are currently using are very safe very self-limited and I don’t anticipate seeing much in the long term side effects,” Smith said. “We don’t see them in flu vaccines, we don’t see them from any of the other vaccines. There is no reason to expect it to be any different.”

UofL Health has vaccinated over 550 people so far. They expect to have 7,000 of their employees vaccinated by the end of January.

Briones-Pryor has been on CNN and has written for the Washington Post about what it’s like to work in a COVID unit. She lost her 27th COVID patient the day she got her vaccination. Sadly, the number has changed.

“I’m up to 28,” she said Monday. “I currently have three patients who are in comfort measures right now. That number will go up in the next week.”

UofL Health workers who took the vaccination told WAVE 3 News that anyone who is hesitant to get vaccinated should speak to their doctor.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.