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"Only Hope": Marylanders share their experience with the COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 15, 2021

BALTIMORE — Most people will tell you the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine weren’t so bad.

Shawn Hendricks, who works at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said she only had mild symptoms after taking the Pfizer vaccine.

“Basically, took some Tums [and] within about 30 minutes my nausea was relieved,” she said. “I was able to work that day.”

Hendricks said the side effects weren’t an issue after both doses and encourages people to take it when they get the chance.

“It’s our biggest and only hope right now is to be vaccinated,” she said.

But in rare cases some people fall severely ill and need to be hospitalized.

Dominque Bagley said that’s what happened to her, a week after she received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“My body was aching. My calves were aching. My two fingers on my left hand felt numb in tingly.”

Bagley, who works at an area nursing home, said doctors told her she had a severe reaction. Her symptoms, which also included extreme fatigue and vision trouble, were unlike symptoms reported by her co-workers

”This is scary for me right now,” she said.

Health officials continue to stress that the vaccines are safe and symptoms—if you get any at all—will be mild and generally won’t last long.

“There are some that are common including pain at the injection site, muscle aches, body aches, fevers and headaches. It's very uncommon that someone needs to be hospitalized for these reactions,” said Dr. Amish Adalja, an infectious disease expert from Johns Hopkins.

He said getting the vaccine is worth it, if it means ending the pandemic.

“In almost every circumstance I can think of the benefits of the vaccine outweighs the risks that occur,” he said.

Dr. Adalja said when it’s your time to take the vaccine, you should as he believes it’s the best way to get to as close to normal as possible.

As for Bagley, she said she doesn’t regret taking the vaccine, but said she has decided she won’t get the second dose.

To get the latest information about the safety of the vaccines, you can click on this link here.