EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — After working on the frontlines of the pandemic for months, five University Medical Center workers received the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
For these healthcare workers, the vaccine brings them a sense of security.
“It was a sigh of relief," vascular access nurse Raul Garcia said.
“At least I feel like I could do my job with ease,” paramedic Ricardo Martinez said.
UMC received more than 2,900 doses. The hospital will continue to administer the vaccine to workers on Wednesday.
"We feel like it's a good step to getting the global pandemic under control," UMC CEO and President Jacob Cintron said.
Where there is hope there is also a concern. Some people are worried about getting the vaccine once it does become available.
"So far the vaccine has only had local side effects and systemic side effects that don’t last longer than two days," Dr. Armando Meza, Chief Infectious Disease Specialist, with Texas Tech Health Sciences Center said. "Those symptoms can be fatigue, headache, and fever."
Doctor Meza encourages everyone to get the vaccine once available. He says even if you feel symptoms, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"If you are having symptoms, in a good way, it’s telling you that you are developing antibodies that will protect you," Meza said.
The Food and Drug Administration is now focused on Moderna's vaccine, which could get approval by the end of the week.
Meza said in terms of safety, the vaccines are the same.
The only difference is the way they are stored.
"The difference is going to be the coding. This vaccine is formulated so you don’t have to have the hassle of the ultra-low freeze temperatures," Meza said. "It’s going to be more convenient for the companies or pharmacies or clinics giving the vaccination for them to store it and use it."
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