As Emily, a physician assistant in two Dallas hospitals got in line for her COVID-19 vaccine three weeks ago, she said nerves set in
“I think it’s natural to feel a little bit nervous, but overall, I trust the science behind it,” said Emily.
She’d spent weeks reading medical journals, listening in on an eight-hour FDA open forum and learning everything she could about the risks versus the benefits.
After weighing the pros and cons, she signed up to be one of the first injected to better protect herself at work and her family at home.
And after devoting as much time as she could to answering her own questions, she realized she could serve as a resource to her neighbors who might be doing the same.
So, she chronicled her experience to share on her newly launched YouTube channel ER Emily.
"I just wanted to share my experience as a patient getting the vaccine but also as a healthcare provider but then also provide information about the vaccine that are facts and the safety information,” said Emily.
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She recorded herself getting injected and shared any side effects she experienced over the next couple of days.
At the end of day one, she told her viewers, “As far as side effects go, I have a tiny headache right here for a few hours.”
She also described a “mediciney” feel that she equated to feeling icky when taking a new medication and some soreness at the injection site that she said wasn’t a big deal.
By day four, she said she was back to feeling normal.
In addition to her experience, Emily set out to share the good and the bad based on her research and medical expertise.
“There are a lot of factors that I think people needed to know about, of course, the benefits and some of the cons too so that people could make their own decision because it’s a big one. It’s a big decision to make,” said Emily.
In the video, she talks about the limitations of the study and why the vaccine has an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA rather than approval.
She also debunks myths and addresses concerns about ailments reported from the study like cases of bell’s palsy and death. Both, she said, were too few to actually link to the vaccine.
“The risks of getting COVID and the complications are much higher than the risks of getting the vaccine,” said Emily.
For Emily, that was enough to make a decision to protect the people she loves.
But she knows it’s one everyone has to weigh for themselves, and she’s hopeful she’s created a platform that can help.