Cassie Lewis is one of our intensive care nurse practitioners and chief quality officers in Richmond, VA. Read her firsthand account about receiving her COVID-19 vaccine and how she was able to help organize the vaccination process for her other coworkers.
I was honored to be the first person in our organization to receive my initial COVID-19 vaccine shot on December 15. I had been a leader on the team that secured the vaccine for our facilities, so my team members thought it was best for me to go first. Plus, I do have a clinical practice and still see patients on a regular basis.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous when I got my shot. This was mainly because so many people were watching. I’ve reviewed all the safety data over the last couple of months. Doing so definitely made me feel more confident in my decision to get vaccinated.
The shot didn’t hurt. Honestly, I didn’t even feel it but my arm. Some individuals can have the same side effects they would have with a flu shot, such as a low-grade fever, muscles aches and fatigue according to the data. Luckily, I just had some arm soreness.
As part of the vaccine distribution team for our ministry, my main focus has been getting people vaccinated quickly and efficiently. Before the vaccines even arrived, there was lots of behind the scenes planning going on. This is because the vaccine is very delicate. It has to be stored at very cold temperatures. Once taken out of the freezers, it has be administered to a person within a specific time frame.
My team came up with a scheduling process for all of our associates who wanted the vaccine. If someone missed their appointment, we factored that in and had a plan to get another person in the chair quickly so no shots would go to waste. There have definitely been challenges along the way and I cannot thank our pharmacy team enough for their involvement.
I encourage everyone to look at the COVID-19 vaccine as an additional tool to help us get this current pandemic under control. Even after getting vaccinated, it is still important to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
Many people have lost their battles to this virus. Many of us who have loved ones that are health care workers see their constant state of exhaustion. Whenever the opportunity comes, I hope you consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It is part of the process to get this pandemic under control and get back to normal life.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination, visit the CDC’s website.
Also, stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.