Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Provides Hope for North Texas Healthcare Workers

One calls the vaccine's minor side effects "better" than the virus

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In the race for a vaccine, some North Texans in the highest priority group have received their second and final dose.

With the second shot, more people have reported mild side effects than they did with the first.

But as a Texas Health Southwest employee, Krista Spiers said they’re well worth it for the promise of protection.

"We're relieved that there's finally some shimmer of hope that we will get through this pandemic,” said Spiers.

Spiers is a member of the hospital’s Care Transition Management team and has spent the last 10 months helping to transfer COVID-19 patients into long-term care.

"We've seen so much suffering from our patients who've been extremely ill,” said Spiers.

Eight days ago, she received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

After the first, she said the only side effect she experienced was pain at the injection site.

As she expected, the second round was different.

Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?

County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.

You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:

Waitlist Links: Collin - Search Waitlist | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant

You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.

“That evening when I got home, I noticed I was a little achy and I had a 100.2 temperature. I took some Tylenol that evening, and I went to bed early,” said Spiers.

By the next day, Spiers said she felt fine.

According to the FDA, her experience is common with more people reporting symptoms like her's after the second dose rather than the first. Others include headache and fatigue.

For most, the CDC says they go away within a few days.

Spiers has no regrets, saying receiving the vaccine felt like a sigh of relief.

“The minor side effects are way better than actually contracting COVID and the risks of developing severe disease from that,” said Spiers. "I believe that it's safe and effective, and I don't want to get sick. And I've seen so many people suffer and die."

Though she believes receiving the vaccine is a personal decision everyone needs to make, she’s encouraging her loved ones to get it.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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