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Healthy Living: Nurse practitioner recounts vaccine experience

As Oregonians 65 and older will soon be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, health care workers are hoping that their experience getting the vaccine can help inspire confidence in those who are next in line.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 11:57 AM
Updated: May 3, 2021 10:59 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As Oregonians 65 and older will soon be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, health care workers are hoping that their experience getting the vaccine can help inspire confidence in those who are next in line.

Oregon Medical Group family nurse practitioner Elizabeth Dhungana got the vaccine on Saturday and said the process should be familiar to anyone who's gotten a flu shot.

"Walking right into the clinic, it was a very organized process," she said. "One of our nurses came in. It was super fast. They monitor you for about 15 minutes afterward to make sure there's no significant adverse effect."

Dhungana said she experienced a sore arm and some fatigue the next day, both of which are normal short-term reactions to the vaccine.

According to Dhungana, the administration of the vaccine is largely just like the flu shot, but there are some unique elements to getting the COVID-19 shot.

"So this is a little bit different in regards to you will go home with a specific card for you to keep a record of, but the administration is exactly the same," she said.

That card serves as a reminder of when a patient will need to return for their next dose. Dhungana got the Moderna vaccine and will need to get her second dose in four weeks. It's a privilege she said she and her colleagues are hopeful will help convince the public of the vaccine's safety.

"I feel proud to be one of the first to get the vaccine as a health care provider so we can provide reassurance to our patients," she said.

Older Oregonians and educators will be able to start lining up for the vaccine on Jan. 23, when the state expects to receive additional doses from the federal government.

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