Utah’s first COVID-19 vaccine patient says, ‘ok there is an end to this.’

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Tuesday, Utah saw its first medical professionals take the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines. Hundreds have taken the first shot and are awaiting the second.

“I’ve received the vaccine. I haven’t had any side effects. It’s been totally fine for me,” says Utah’s first COVID-19 vaccine patient Christy Mulder.

Christy Mulder, U of U Health RN receives states first COVID-19 Vaccine
Courtesy: U of U Health

Mulder is a Registered Nurse at the University of Utah Health who works on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. She was the first person in the state to receive the vaccine outside of a clinical trial.

“I didn’t realize the scale,” she says. “My boss approached me and asked if I would be willing to get the vaccine, and I said, ‘yeah absolutely.’ She said, ‘well would you want to be the first person? And I was like, ‘sure.’”

She goes on to say, “I think in my head I thought the first person on our unit. I didn’t realize the scale, like, first-person in Utah. That was a pretty big deal.”

It’s safe to say you won’t know how COVID-19 will affect you.

“I think right now we are all very drained and tired, and we are ready for this to be over,” says Mulder. “To have a day like Tuesday where this monumental day in history, it’s just, I think it is very overwhelming for all of us feeling like ‘ok there is an end to this.’ This isn’t forever going on forever.”

Two days after receiving the shot she says, “Outside of a little soreness outside of the injection site, I’ve had no side effects. No fever, no flu-like symptoms, no nothing. I feel totally normal.”

U of U Health’s EMT Jonathan Werner getting COVID-19 vaccine.
Courtesy: U of U Health

The second person in the state to get the coronavirus shot was U of U Health’s EMT Jonathan Werner.

“I feel like the complications from COVID are going to be a lot worse than any sort of complication from the vaccine that could eventually arise,” he says. “This is a safe vaccine. The technology behind it is amazing”

He says the vaccine brought him relief because he’s immunocompromised.

“Being type one diabetic, one of my concerns was how was it going to affect my blood sugars. My blood sugars have been fine. There is no effect to them what so ever,” says Werner. “It is something you need to get as a type one diabetic. We are immunocompromised, we are exposed all the time to everything.”

The only side effect Werner says he faced was pain in his arm at the injection site.

“That is the only thing I’ve experienced. It’s no different than when I get the flu shot or any other type of injection, and as far as my body goes, I feel great,” he says.

Mulder adds, “Everybody is going to react to it differently. Just because I didn’t have any reaction to it doesn’t mean that others aren’t. So, I can’t guarantee that people are going to have the same response I had but I think it is important for everybody to stop, look at the facts, look at the science, and not the opinions of various people, and weigh the risks and benefits for themselves.”

These two’s holiday wish is that Utahns won’t get complacent because there is a vaccine.

“I’m a teeny tiny bit fearful because I guess I don’t want the public to think, ‘Oh there is a vaccine that means we can all go out and party, do whatever we want to do because there is a vaccine.’ Well the truth is the vaccine is a huge step and it’s an important step,” says Mulder. “That being said we still need to be diligent about our social gatherings, about wearing masks. It’s not the end all be all, we still need to do our part to be careful and wise as well.”

So far, ABC4 news learned of two reactions to the vaccine in Alaska. Both patients are doing ok and say they would still take the shot.

Mulder and Werner say they can’t wait to take their booster shot in 19-days to hopefully become immune to COVID-19

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