"I'm feeling more hopeful than I did a year ago," said Dr. Aliza Norwood with UT Austin Dell Medical School, who can officially say she is fully vaccinated from COVID-19. "I definitely have that extra layer of confidence that I am protected and then I'm protecting my community."
For the past year, Dr. Norwood says COVID-19 has really worried her since she is in the healthcare industry and works directly with patients.
"It was really scary because we were learning more information all the time, but there was a lot that we were unsure of. [Now] I feel a lot more confident meeting with patients and doing everything that we do with them to make sure that I'm not going to expose them or that they wouldn't expose me," she said.
Dr. Norwood says the second dose was exactly like the first time and can be easily compared to getting a flu shot. She says she got the shot, had to wait 15 minutes, and then she was good to go.
"The day after I got the shot, I felt some arm soreness, and I definitely felt a little fatigued. I felt a little bit of chills the next day, and that was about it for me," she said.
Now, she wants to encourage the public to get the vaccine. She says it's an important step to get back to some sort of normalcy.
"Number one, I would say just for the fact that we need everybody to participate in this process to be able to get back to a normal society. That's a major reason why we need everybody if they're able to get vaccinated," said Dr. Norwood.
She also says it's imperative to save lives. "This has been going on for just so long, and so many people have gotten sick and have died, which is really, really difficult to see and go through as a healthcare provider. I have some hope now that as the vaccine rolls out, that we'll be able to stop the suffering that we've seen."