Respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first wave of health-care professionals in Central Zone to receive the COVID vaccine last week. She has been sharing her experiences with many who are curious about the vaccine.
Photo from Alberta Health Services

Respiratory therapist shares her COVID vaccine experiences

Sarah MacKenzie among just over 300 central Alberta health workers to get vaccine so far

So many people wanted to know what getting the COVID vaccine was like respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie took to Facebook Live for the first time to share her experiences.

About 20 people, including friends and family, had tuned in at one point as she provided a 24-hour update since she got the Pfizer vaccine at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre last Wednesday.

MacKenzie, who provides respiratory therapy through home care in Red Deer, was among more than 300 physicians and other health professionals in central zone to get the first doses of the vaccine by Christmas Eve.

Physically, getting the shot has been almost a non-event. Her arm was slightly sore, but the side effects were much less pronounced than her yearly flu shot, which often leaves her with an aching arm, as well as fatigue and nausea.

“I didn’t find any of that with the COVID vaccine.”

Central Albertan respiratory therapist among first to get COVID vaccine

500 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Getting the vaccine and her willingness to go public with her story has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, only marred by online comments from a handful of skeptics.

“I was prepared for there to be a few trolls,” said MacKenzie, who posts to Facebook and Instagram. “I was prepared no matter what response I got to not engage with people who were negative.

“For the most part, I’d say 95 per cent of people were really positive,” she said on Monday from her Lacombe home. “Everyone was really interested in how I was doing at the 24-hour mark.

“Overall, it was a really positive experience.”

Family members, including her parents in Lacombe, and three uncles who are doctors, were thrilled for her.

“They were so excited that I was in the first wave,” she said.

24 hours post Phizer/BioNtech Vaccine- update from Sarah

Posted by Sarah MacKenzie on Thursday, 24 December 2020

MacKenzie has been on holidays since she got the vaccine so has not visited her home care clients yet. But she is looking forward to sharing her story and knows they will get a lift as well.

She will get the second of her two shots on Jan. 13 and continues to wear a mask and observe the health protocols that have been in place for many months now.

MacKenzie expects to get more information about what to expect from the vaccine when she goes in for her second shot.

There has been much public discussion since she got her vaccine about the emergence of a COVID mutation, that has now made its way to Canada.

Alberta Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said the Pfizer vaccine that MacKenzie and other Albertans have received or will be receiving soon is expected to protect against the mutation.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Image curtesy Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin addresses unpaid oil and gas taxes

The County of Wetaskiwin is addressing unpaid oil and gas taxes and… Continue reading

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Most Read