First CHI Health COVID-19 vaccine recipient shares his experience

The first recipient of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Omaha on Monday said he was back to work Tuesday and feeling fine.

“It feels like every other day,” said Dr. Adam Highley, who works in pulmonary/critical care at CHI Health-Bergan Mercy. Highley said he had a “tiny bit of soreness at the injection site,” but said “everything was normal.”

The doctor compared it receiving a flu vaccine, but noted that he had to take a pain reliever after he received the flu vaccine but didn’t seem to have any side effects from the first-round COVID-19 vaccine.

Highley said he doesn’t believe the vaccine should be required, but he encouraged anyone who can to get it. “If it can give us some reprieve, if it can do half of what we think it’s gonna do, if it can lessen the cases, if it can keep people from getting as sick as they’re going to get, then, you know, I’m all for it,” he said.

Highley said he received a lot of encouragement from colleagues about his willingness to go first. He said colleagues also told him that they were excited to get the vaccine and that progress is being made in fighting the virus. “This almost kind of feels like a win. This is something that’s actually going in their favor,” he said.

The doctor said he’s prepared for any side-effects that have been reported for the second dose. “My level of comfort comes way behind everybody else’s safety,” he said. “If I have to go through a day of fever and be uncomfortable for a day, that I can then potentially not become that ill or if I do get exposed to it that I can lessen perhaps my chances of my family, friends, loved ones becoming ill because of my exposures, then I will do it all day long.”

(Photo by WOWT 6 News)

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