This week, Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society made history and breathed a collective sigh of relief.
For months, the intertwined health care providers have been planning for the approval and arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. After the Pfizer vaccine got the OK from the CDC and other agencies, Sanford and Good Samaritan Society quickly worked to get the vaccine and vaccinate their first patients.
Minimal side effects
Some have been hesitant to get vaccinated, saying they're worried about side effects. Providers with both organizations say there's little to worry about.
"Trust the science," says Caitlyn Nickell, assistant nursing director at the Good Samaritan Society.
According to the CDC's website, common side affects include "pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot, and fever, chills, tiredness, and headaches throughout the rest of your body."
She says the only side effect she's noticed since being vaccinated is a slight sore arm.
"I woke up with a little bit of a stiff arm, but as soon as I got up and moving, it's not even noticeable," Caitlyn says.
Mubashir Badar, M.D. is a physician on the COVID-19 unit in Bismarck, North Dakota. He also received the Pfizer vaccine, and like Nickell, slight arm pain was the only side effect.
"Those side effects are no different than getting any other vaccination," he says.
Carol Lavin is an ambulatory nurse at Sanford Vermillion Clinic in Vermillion, South Dakota. She participated in the Moderna clinical trial on July 28, and again on Aug. 28.
She noticed very little side effects.
"My arm was a little sore, and I was a little fatigued for the day or so afterwards," Carol adds.
'It's the only way out'
Dr. Badar added that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective. And, if you ask Avish Nagpal, M.D., an infectious disease physician in Fargo, North Dakota, vaccines are the only way out of the pandemic.
"The success of the vaccination is only guaranteed if most people take the vaccination," Dr. Nagpal said.
Pediatric critical care physician Jody Huber, M.D., received the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday.
"I've only experienced mild arm soreness. The Pfizer vaccine has been extensively studied in a very large number of people. What we've learned is that not only is this an effective vaccine, it's also a very safe vaccine," says Dr. Huber.
The very minimal side effects are a small price to pay for the health and safety of yourself and others, says Dr. Badar.
"This is what all ICU doctors, hospitals, businesses, teachers, parents, everybody, this is what we've been waiting for," he said. "It is very important that everybody takes the vaccine, and finally put an end to this pandemic."