COLORADO SPRINGS — The second doses of COVID-19 vaccines are now being given to UCHealth employees. On Wednesday January 6th, Jeremy Hulsker, a charge nurse in the emergency department at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, received his second dose.
On Monday December 14th, 2020, Jeremy was the first UCHealth employee in southern Colorado to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which was a big deal that put Jeremy in the spotlight. Chief Nursing Officer Tamera Dunseth Rosenbaum was even there to administer the first dose to Jeremy with the media and fellow employees watching. After Dunseth Rosenbaum depressed the plunger, there was a round of applause and a thumbs up from Jeremy.
On Wednesday, for his second dose, things were much more low key, but the occasion was highly anticipated by Jeremy. “It was real easy, there wasn’t much to it. Check in, got my shot and waited 15 minutes to make sure there is no reaction, and it was done.”
Jeremy says he is aware there might be some side effects following the booster. “It's only been in the last day or two that people are getting the second shot here in the United States, so we haven't heard much (about what to expect), but with any vaccine you can have a mild response, some body aches, soreness or low-grade fever. I don't expect anything worse than that and I had no side effects except for a sore arm the next day with the first one. I'm hoping it's the same with this one.”
With his first dose, Jeremy gained some immunity against the virus, but he knows it was only the first step, with a long way to go in the fight. “We've still been busy at the hospital, we see COVID patients every day. We still wear full PPE with a respirator, gloves, glasses. There has still been staff getting sick in between the two shots all across the country. There was definitely a concern for a lot of us here, because we've come 10 months without getting sick, it would be very unfortunate if we got sick in the three weeks between doses, so we are all very excited and looking forward to the vaccine second shot and building up the full immunity.”
Having an added layer of protection on the job, and in his daily life by being vaccinated, is something that's important to Jeremy, and he hopes his example will ease any concerns others may have about getting the vaccine when they get the chance. “I am 41-years-old and consider myself pretty healthy. I have no other medical conditions and I feel chances are if I were to contract COVID I'll be OK, but it's not a risk I am willing to take. I have seen co-workers my age, and much younger get sick, and for some of them it was just a few days and some still had lasting affects two months later and these are people in their 20s. There is no chance in the world I would risk that, compared to having a sore arm and maybe some body aches for 24 to 48 hours.”
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