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Nurse says a little pain is worth vaccine gain

Front line: Dunae Richards, a nurse, is urging everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19 (Photograph supplied)

A nurse who had both doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine said yesterday that side-effects were a sign that the body’s immune system had worked.

Dunae Richards also appealed to Black people to sign up for the jab and insisted that there was “a level playing field” in the way the vaccine was administered.

Ms Richards said she did suffer mild symptoms after the injections – but that they were a small price to pay for protection against the killer disease.

She added: “I was surprised that the first dose didn’t hurt at all because I’d been hyping it in my head.”

But she said she started to suffer fatigue, a headache and chills, which lasted for most of the day, just after the jab was administered.

She added the side-effects from the second jab were more severe.

Ms Richards said that she went to work after the second shot, but had to go home early.

She said: “I was exhausted. I got home and slept for six hours. I also had a prolonged headache that lasted through to the next day.”

But Ms Richards added: “I had an immune response, which is what makes you feel sick.

“But it’s a good thing as it showed me that my body’s immune system is working.

“When your body has a foreign invader, your white blood cells know that it’s an intruder and starts making antibodies against it.

“It’s that process that makes you feel sick, because the body is working hard against the disease.“

Ms Richards, 30, a clinical resource nurse at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, said she had treated Covid-19 patients and seen the serious effects of infection.

She was speaking after reports from around the world that some people had suffered severe reactions to the vaccine, particularly after the second shot.

But Ms Richards said it was important for everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible to reach herd immunity.

She added: “This can spread very quickly, as we have seen here.

“There were a few super spreader events when the number of cases went up.

“The people who attended those events probably didn’t think they were at risk, but it is easy to pass on.

“That’s why I decided to take the vaccine – I didn’t want to be caught off guard.”

Ms Richards said she was aware that Black people appeared to be more reluctant to get the shots.

But she added: “I know hesitancy goes back throughout history where people of colour have been experimented on, but I don’t see disparity in getting access to the vaccine here – everyone is on a level playing field.”

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Published February 16, 2021 at 11:09 am (Updated February 16, 2021 at 11:09 am)

Nurse says a little pain is worth vaccine gain

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