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Just got my Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine! What was it like? MD’s thoughts, side effects, and more.

I’m super excited to be chatting with Dr. Brandon Chen, MD about his experience, thoughts, and side effects after getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. My goal has always been to make education and personal experiences available and accessible, so I thought this would be an amazing chance to share one person’s story as well as provide some hope for the future. Many of my family and close friends are on the front lines right now as healthcare professionals saving lives; it’s very personal and important for me for us to all do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

There’s a lot of misinformation going around about the vaccine, and I figured it would be best to hear about it from someone who’s actually gotten the vaccine and works as a frontline healthcare provider. Dr. Yufan Brandon Chen is a board certified and practicing OBGYN here in California. He comes onto the show today to share his candid experience after getting his vaccine yesterday for coronavirus.

We talk about adverse reactions, any potential flu-like symptoms, card and vaccine tracking, allergies, the two dose time frame, privilege, prevention, herd immunity, the Pfizer vs. Moderna vaccine differences, the full ICU at his hospital, and accessibility.

Doctor Chen is an incredibly intelligent and kind person and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him on the show. A big theme of my channel is highlighting underrepresented groups, e.g., Asian-Americans and bringing visibility to our community, so it was amazing to get a chance to speak with him and pick his brain about getting the vaccine at his place of work. Here’s a little bit more about him and his medical experience:

Board certified OBGYN subspecializing in female pelvic floor disorders (prolapse, incontinence, etc), minimally invasive surgery, and pelvic reconstructive surgery.

Fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Loyola University Medical Center 2020.

Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center 2016.

M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2012.

B.S., Bioengineering, University of California Berkeley 2007.

In our super quick episode today we covered:

- When did you get your shot and how was the experience? He got the shot yesterday so this is all very new and exciting stuff.

- There’s some falsified data out there about vaccination that have people really concerned about vaccines, e.g., people are worried that vaccines cause autism even though that initial “study” was discredited and untrue. Some people are afraid of getting shots, what did you think about the shot?

- Is the shot FDA approved? He talks about how it’s FDA authorized due to the emergency situation and not quite FDA approved yet.

- How were you selected for receiving the vaccine? Dr. Chen is a doctor who still sees patients in-person and performs surgeries.

- Did a nurse monitor you in the 10 minutes after receiving the shot? When is your follow-up dose? Yes, they monitor and do some light tracking.

- Did you have any immediate side effects? Is there anything to be aware of? No major side effects, the needle was a thinner gauge and hurt less than a pinch.

From the CDC website it’s important to note that COVID-19 vaccines require 2 doses and the vaccine is just one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.

“Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease.

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.”

Thank you so much Brandon for all the work you do, helping your patients, speaking openly and honestly about your COVID vaccine experience. So much appreciation and admiration to you and all the frontline health workers and essential workers who are putting their lives on the line at work and returning back home to your families. I have been doing my part to social distance, stay home, and wear masks when doing.

--- If you’d like to reach me, check out my socials: Irene Tang from Bay Wellness Coaching ---


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