While Dec. 21 may seem like eons ago because everyone is looking forward and hopeful to what 2021 will bring, it was a big day for the physicians of Monroe Pediatrics, all of whom received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“I was super excited to be a part of history,” said Dr. Jamee Goldstein, one of the practice’s partners, who received her vaccine at Garnet Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill. “In talking to my aunt and dad, they reminded me they were a part of history when they took the polio vaccine. Now, it’s my turn.”
Initially, only hospital personnel were among the first wave of frontline workers eligible for the first doses, she explained.
“First they said, ‘Yes, we’re going to get it to you, but not just yet,’” said Goldstein. “Then, they called us and said they had enough to start vaccines for community physicians. We are seeing COVID in our offices. We need to be vaccinated to be protected from ourselves, our staff, our patients and their families.”
The vaccines were being administered in one of the hospital’s conference rooms and everyone knew they were a part of something positive and long-awaited.
“There was a little buzz in the room, a hum of positivity,” said Goldstein. “Yes, we all acted professionally but we were all excited to be able to help by setting the example of the importance of preventive medicine. There was a genuine hopefulness in the room. My partners and I are setting a positive example about the belief in science and vaccines and how they work. It’s fantastic to be showing the world we believe in science and want to set the example.”
So, how did it feel?
With the swab of an alcohol wipe, a quick pinch and a short wait to assess any reaction, Goldstein was good to go.
“My arm was a little sore but way less sore than a Tetanus or flu shot,” she said. “One of my partners had a little dizziness, but that can happen with any vaccine. But it’s your body doing what it’s supposed to do. mRNA technology isn’t new. People shouldn’t be afraid of this.”
The second shot
The next big date is Jan. 11, when the second of the two shots will be administered.
“We’re anticipating being sorer and not feeling well,” said Goldstein. “We hear the second dose makes you not feel great, but we’re all looking forward to completing the series. Physicians nationwide are posting photos of themselves on social media getting the vaccine, and we are, too. We’re happy to be part of it and be on the right side of side of history.”
Stay vigilant; fight-19 COVID fatigue
Goldstein was quick to remind people that officials are accurate when publicizing the estimated time frames for when the full population has access to vaccines, and vaccines are useless unless people actually get vaccinated.
And she remains a huge, vocal proponent of people staying vigilant.
“Wear your masks,” Goldstein admonished. “Stay in your little, social group. Please! Don’t have large gatherings. It’s not just the people you’re with, but the people they saw two days prior who are going to affect you. That’s what we’re seeing in the office.”
She also reminded people they can’t let COVID-19 fatigue set in.
“People are being lax,” Goldstein added. “I understand, it’s hard to have children and teenagers and tell them they can’t go places. But, your circle isn’t just ‘your’ circle. It’s frustrating and I get it. You can’t give up doing the right thing. Wear your mask over your mouth and nose. Wash your hands. Social distance. Keep crowds to a minimum.”
Equally important, Goldstein stressed: “Have faith in science. Believe in the science.”
“It’s fantastic to be showing the world we believe in science and want to set the example.”
Dr. Jamee Goldstein, Monroe Pediatrics