Alabama healthcare workers find relief in COVID-19 vaccine

Alabama healthcare workers find relief in COVID-19 vaccine
Kevin Daluyin has taken care of COVID patients since our first one arrived in March. He was the first UAB employee to be vaccinated Thursday, December 17, 2020. (Source: UAB Hospital)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -Doctors continue to say the COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic.

“Getting this vaccine in the arms of people and getting it delivered is the thing that’s going to end this pandemic,” said Dr. Sarah Nafziger, UAB Vice President of Clinical Support Services, who has no question about whether the vaccine will do its job.

“After two doses, it’s 95 percent effective at catching COVID. I mean, what could be better? A 95 percent effective vaccine is almost unheard of,” Nafziger said.

But, she warns, we must not let down our guard in the meantime.

“We’re going to have to continue to mask we’re going to continue to have to do social distancing,” Nafziger said. “We can’t give up now. We can’t fatigue. I know we’re all just so tired of the masks, I am to believe me. But it really is our best tool at helping us prevent this disease from taking from attacking those who are most vulnerable.”

For Nafziger, getting the vaccine has eased a tremendous emotional burden.

“Just psychologically, for me, it’s been, it’s relieved a tremendous burden. You know, I was worried about catching COVID at work, you know, catching it from from somebody I’m around, catching it from a patient. And and that really, you know, that worry now for me has been lifted, I’m not worried about that nearly as much. But much more important for me is what happens at home,” Nafziger explained. “When you’re at home with your family, you know, that’s different. When I’m with my children, I don’t want to wear a mask, when I’m sitting at the dinner table with my children, I want to be able to hug my children... So I have to say that psychologically, for me, it was a tremendous burden that was lifted because I feel safe around my family. Now I feel like I can be around my children without worrying that they’re gonna, you know, unwittingly infect me.”

As for the public, Nafziger believes those who receive the vaccine are grateful.

“I’ll share with you that at the vaccine site, it’s not uncommon for people just to break down in tears when they receive their vaccine. People are just so tremendously relieved to finally have have received the vaccine and have some hope.” Nafziger added.

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