Capital Region ICU nurse gets COVID vaccine

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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Now that we are seeing the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine, we’re starting to learn about what it’s like to get the shot. Local registered nurse Mary Jo Nethaway shared her take on the vaccine after receiving it, and why she thinks it was important for her to roll up her sleeve.

“All right. On my way to get my COVID-19 vaccine. So, we will see how this goes,” Nethaway said into the camera as she began documenting the day she and other health care workers on the frontlines received the first dose.

Nethaway said that she was honored to be among the first in the U.S. to get vaccinated. “I am glad that we are able to get this first. I know some people were a little worried that the health care workers were first, but it just makes sense. Because we need to be healthy to take care of everybody else.”

Nethaway said some minor soreness at the injection site was the only reaction to the vaccine that she noted. “Which a couple of Tylenol took away,” she said. “Didn’t feel weird. Nothing like that.”

Until last February, the registered nurse had focused on wound care at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. However, when the pandemic struck, she joined the team in the intensive care unit treating COVID patients.

Some in the medical field are waiting, or even outright refusing to get the vaccine. Nethaway says that both her job and the fact that her elderly mother lives with her played a major role in her decision to get vaccinated.

“I know it sounds like it was a rushed thing, and that was one thing everybody was concerned by: how fast it went through. But that’s just where the timeline comes in, funding and pushing for the need. When I saw physicians there who are very scientifically based, they were like ‘Yeah, give it to me.’ I was really, really confident that this is what we have to do.”

She says she will go back for her second dose, the final shot in the immunization schedule, on January 10.

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