Healthcare workers and the vaccine

Since the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine began in December 2020, more than 27 million people have received their first doses in America.

While most recipients of the first vaccine rollout have been frontline workers and popular figures, some people closer to home have also had the opportunity, including Texas A&MDirector of Student Health Services Martha Dannenbaum.

While many at A&M are ready to receive the vaccine as early as possible, others are more hesitant. Allied health senior Elliott Clause has worked at Baylor Scott & White since August 2019 as a phlebotomist and laboratory technician, and said after initial apprehension, she is now ready for the vaccine.

“I didn’t get the vaccine in December when it was first offered because I was honestly nervous and wanted to see its effects,” Clause said. “Now I’m ready for it and am on a waitlist to hopefully receive it soon.”

Clause said her motives for receiving the vaccine are to not only protect herself, but most importantly, her loved ones.

“Seeing the effects this virus has had on older people, I have been wanting to get the vaccine in order to protect not only me but my family and friends,” Clause said. “This virus is very strange with its effects on each person, but I am afraid of what it may do to family members.”

Cameron Stevens, a first year dentistry student, was vaccinated first on Jan. 7 and received his second dose on Feb. 7. As a dental student, Stevens said he felt it necessary to be vaccinated if he was to interact with patients.

“I decided to get the vaccine because in order to build herd immunity and to protect those who can’t get the vaccine, it’s better for other people to have immunity,” Stevens said.

Andrea Argenal, Class of 2020, received the vaccination on Feb. 5. She has been assisting her family in their pediatric clinic with duties at the clinic varying day-to-day, and obtained the vaccine a few weeks ago.

“I was actually one of the last people to get the vaccine at the office since I don’t get that much face-to-face time with patients,” Argenal said.

Argenal said before she received the vaccine, she was aware some people experienced side effects the first day, but the process seemed routine.

“I’ve heard people get a lot of side effects the day that they get it,” Argenal said. “I understand why people are hesitant to get it, but for me, it was just like another flu shot.”

Argenal said she encourages people to have faith in doctors and the vaccine.

“I hope more and more people get vaccinated and that people are more open-minded and trusting that doctors wouldn’t recommend something that would be harmful,” Argenal said.

For any type of normalcy to return, Clause said everyone should get the vaccine when possible.

“I believe everyone should bite the bullet and get the vaccine, whether they are afraid or not,” Clause said. “The quicker we all get vaccinated, the quicker we will get back to normal life and the quicker we may be able to eradicate the virus.”

The chance for a negative reaction is very low, Stevens said. He encouraged all who are able to be vaccinated to do it as soon as possible.

“If you’re choosing to not get the vaccine, I hope it’s because you have a reason not to get the vaccine for medical reasons,” Stevens said. “If you can get the vaccine and are able to get it, it’s going to be the best [option] for our world in general.”

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