Vaccinated UW Health doctor speaks on vaccination, one day later

Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 19:43:43-05

MADISON — One of the first people in the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine spoke with TMJ4 News about her experience for the first time.

“I feel so hopeful, and yesterday was such an emotional day,” said Dr. Ann Sheehy, the division leader of Hospital Medicine at UW Health. “It almost feels surreal.”

Dr. Sheehy is in exclusive company, but not for long. On Monday, she was the first of ten UW Health employees to be vaccinated.

“This is what we’ve been hoping for and it’s here. It feels almost too good to be true,” Sheehy said.

Just a day removed from her first of two shots, she says she's feeling okay.

“I feel fine,” she said. “I don’t have any symptoms. Just a little soreness at my shot site. Which is pretty normal for a vaccine.”

The FDA, which approved the emergency use of the vaccine, said if people get side effects, they won't last long. They could include a headache, muscle pain and fever.

“We may have these mild symptoms and that could be for the first three days,” Sheehy said. “Some of what I’ve read is the second dose can come with more symptoms so I’m preparing for that.”

She continues preparing like she has since the pandemic began and also reflecting on the darker days of COVID.

“We started worrying we weren’t going to have all the healthcare providers or beds,” she said.

Seeing lonely patients also took an emotional toll.

“Mid-November, right around Thanksgiving time. We felt were so deep and there was really no end in sight,” Sheehy said.

Now, the end appears to be in sight. but there is still work to be done to slow the spread.

“With the vaccine, it feels like we can do this. We know we still have a long road ahead of us,” Sheehy said.

The vaccine consists of two shots; the second is given three weeks after the first. UW Health says about 80 workers got the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday in Madison. They hope to eventually get that number up in the hundreds, daily, in the future.

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