Even With Some Side Effects, Folks Encourage Vaccination
Darren Doyle, story:
While COVID-19 vaccinations are currently being focused on frontline workers, elderly, school workers, and high-risk individuals, several local residents who have received them have spoken to us about their experience.
Most all the reaction so far has been positive, including the scheduling and organizational process.
Rae Vincent Childress, a respiratory therapist, said she had received both vaccines (Moderna) through her work at Owensboro Twin Lakes facility. While she had no negative reaction to the first, she said the second had some slight side effects.
"I received my second Vaccine on Thursday, did good with my first one but the second one I was sick for 2 days. Body aches, fever, nausea."
Amber Stewart, a local resident that teaches preschool in Warren County said she received the vaccine 1-13 and described it as "it wasn't bad."
"My arm felt like I was hit by a fastball for about 2 days," she said in a message. "Other than that I didn't have any other symptoms." She said she wanted to protect herself, family, and students and said she wanted to be face-to-face with her kids. Her vaccine was administered at the WKU facility near the Medical Center.
Truman Waddell, local volunteer fire fighter, received his second Moderna vaccination on Monday at the Edmonson County Health Department at a first responder session.
"I will have to see how that goes," he said. "The first dose just made my arm sore. Other than that no side effects." Waddell serves on both the Brownsville, Chalybeate, and Kyrock Fire Departments.
Beth Bramer, a dental care worker, also received her second vaccination this Monday.
"I realize there is a BIG stigma attached to the vaccine but for me it was never a question as to whether I would take it," she said. "The benefits outweigh the risk, if I can do my part to keep my family, friends, patients, and even a stranger safe then it will be worth it. I lost a very dear Uncle to Covid in November and I think now most of us know somebody that has lost a loved one from it. I pray the vaccine will help us reach some sort of normalcy sooner rather than later."
Bramer received her vaccinations through MedCenter Health.
Cody Weiss, a local resident who is part of the Buechel Fire and EMS in Jeffersonville, and the chief of the Annetta Fire Department, said he received his vaccinations in Louisville.
"I look at getting the vaccine as a civic duty and I hope more people will volunteer to get the shot when their turn comes up," Weiss said.
Many messages we received from our readers echoed much of the same. Most all recipients said the process was relatively easy and any side effects were mainly short-term fatigue or arm soreness.
Two individuals, one of which asked to remain anonymous, received vaccinations and later tested positive for COVID.
Doniel Woodcock said she received the vaccine on January 15th but tested positive one week later.
"My ears hurt me so bad and I was dizzy due to fluid being behind them," she said. "I received a shot yesterday for my ear and I can tell the fluid is draining. I have lost sense of smell and can only taste spicy, salty, and sour right now. However, if I am able to get my second shot I plan on it. Or if I have to wait 90 days and start over I plan to do that."
Woodcock received her vaccination through the Barren River District Health Department at the EC 5/6 Center.
One resident who shared her experience asked to remain anonymous because she's expecting a child and had not yet publicly announced her pregnancy.
She said she received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine with zero side effects and then found out she was expecting three days after receiving her first dose.
"I received my second dose Jan 20th. Eight hours after the second dose, I felt like I’d been hit by a train. Severe fatigue, severe nausea, headache, muscle pain, back and neck pain. Severe swelling, redness, pain and itching at the injection site. These symptoms were expected to subside within 24-48 hours. All of these symptoms lasted 48 hours after they started.....or so I thought. After two days I began to feel better...briefly. Now here we are 5 days after the second injection and same symptoms persist and have returned in full severity. I went back to the doctor thinking I might actually have COVID. Rapid test was negative, awaiting results of the send off, my primary care providers suspects I am experiencing lingering effects of the shot exacerbated by the pregnancy. Assuming the send off test is also negative."
Another resident who said she had already experienced positive COVID cases on two different occasions, still encouraged the public to get vaccinated.
"I have had Covid twice, the last time being on Dec. 31st," said Candi Alford, an X-Ray tech. "I received my Vaccine on Jan 13th. It felt like my Covid kicked back in full force for 36 hours. Fever up to 101.9, chills, sweats, body aches, and just generally feeling VERY rough. I am still glad I was able to get the vaccine and even though I am dreading my 2nd dose on Feb 10th, I will gladly roll up my sleeve and take the shot."
April Webb, a local resident who teaches in Warren County, said she received the vaccine with no issues other than soreness, but wasn't happy with how her father's attempt to schedule a vaccination had gone so far.
"My father who is older and falls in the 1b category, still hasn’t gotten an appointment time. It’s been over two weeks since he messaged them," she said. "It’s my opinion that they are very unorganized and have no true plan. When I messaged the phone number I got an answer right away. Another teacher who messaged right after me didn’t get an appointment until 3 days later."
The last healthcare worker that we spoke with, a local occupational therapist who asked to remain anonymous, wanted to not only encourage others to take the vaccine, but also for the public to do the same once they receive it. He said he'd seen where folks sharing their vaccination experiences on social media had received some negative reaction.
"Health care workers were encouraged to post their pics to let the public know it is safe, not for any glory," he said. "I work with people that have COVID. I have to wear a full body suit, N95 mask, face shield, and gloves when I work with COVID-positive patients or anyone that is in quarantine. I have had the first dose/ vaccine. No issues. You have to sit and wait for 15 minutes to see if you have a reaction. My second shot caused me to run 99.9 fever, headache, and fatigue. Several of our rehab staff had to call in the day after taking the shot after they became sick, dizzy, and light headed, and had to go home early. I’m not afraid of COVID, but I have 1 parent left and I will do what I have to, to keep people safe. I have been tested multiple times and have always tested negative, but there are some very negative people in this county and I know you are seeing this because they let It all out on Facebook. I know that the big media and the political environment has not helped, but COVID is real and people are dying. I see it where I work. I had a patient a few weeks ago. Him and his wife both had it and she died and he survived. I think that is what its going to take for some of these people around here to wear a mask and take the shot."
In a press release today, the BRDHD said they have worked the past few weeks vaccinating individuals in categories 1A and 1B.
"We will be in phases 1A and 1B for the next several weeks," the statement said. "In addition to first doses, we will begin administering second doses this week for individuals in 1A and 1B. We will announce on social media and through local news when we are approved to move into phase 1C."
Immunization phases are listed below:
The local Edmonson County Health Department is open to appointment-only. Their local phone number redirects to a main BRDHD line where the caller must follow a series of prompts to reach the correct office or department.
Click here to learn more about vaccine phases in Kentucky.