UCSD Nurse Shares Vaccination Experience

Thousands of health care workers across the country received the first doses of the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine this past week.

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The arrival of the initial shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine came as a huge relief to those who’ve been caring for COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“It’s been pretty chaotic,” said David Flores, ICU nurse at UCSD. “People are getting burned out and I don’t blame them. There are so many people and it's not just the COVID patients, you have the other patients.”

Flores was among the health care workers to get the first round of Pfizer's vaccine this past week. He’s cared for many COVID-19 patients and had been looking forward to the vaccine for months. 

“This is a very scary thing,” said Flores.

Flores has underlying conditions himself so his daughter, Jade, says she worries. 

“There’s times there have been a few risks," said Jade Flores.

There was no doubt in both their minds the vaccine was the way to go.

“I did it because I want us, our society to go back to normal.”

And normal, or at least a new normal, is something Dr. Paul Schalch says could be possible with the vaccine. A message he hopes reaches those who may be hesitant.

“Even though there has been mention of some side effects when the vaccines have been administered, they don’t compare to what can happen to you if you get the COVID-19,” said Dr. Schalch, otolaryngologist.

The second coronavirus vaccine, this one from Moderna is starting to be shipped out. 

And while the news of two vaccines coming our way is a big comfort, Dr. Schalch says it doesn't change the fact that the virus is still here and we must continue taking the necessary precautions.

“As good news as it is that we now have the vaccine available because it's not going to reach the community for a couple of months probably, people need to continue to exercise the same amount of caution that we have been talking about these past couple of months,” said Schalch.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, over 500,000 Americans have already been vaccinated.

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