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How a patient changed a nurse practitioner’s mind about the COVID-19 vaccine

Michael Fine thought he’d wait and watch before getting vaccinated. Then he worked on the frontlines in a Baystate Health ED during a COVID-19 surge.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been providing primary care at the Palmer Medical Center, located at Baystate Wing Hospital. While most of my time is in primary care, I also work in the emergency departments at Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Wing Hospital.

I have to admit that when I first heard about the COVID-19 vaccine, I was nervous about getting it and was thinking that I would wait to see how others did before I got vaccinated. Then the surge hit and after working a few shifts in the emergency department around the holidays, my perspective changed.

There was a young patient that had arrived in the ED seriously ill due to COVID. She was so seriously ill she needed to be intubated to help her breathe. It was in that moment that I changed my perspective. I’m grateful to work with physician leaders and colleagues who have been exemplary role models during the pandemic and who lead with expertise and by their personal example. I am proud to say that I have received both doses of the vaccine!

I strongly encourage everyone to get the vaccine and remain safe by wearing masks, continuing to social distance and staying at home as much as possible. It continues to be important now more than ever to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from the COVID-19 virus. While we all look forward to a time when we can return to a more normal life, let’s keep in mind that it is a process and it will take time. We are all in this together.