By Zandy Dudiak, Communications coordinator
Alexis McFadden, a counselor at Pittsburgh Mercy’s Adult Diversion and Acute Stabilization Unit, felt some pressure from others to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But she had good reason not to want to be immunized. Because she gets very intense side effects from the routine flu vaccine, she was “very hesitant.”
“Knowing my body’s sensitivity to the flu vaccine, I was afraid to try a COVID vaccine,” she admits. “Most of it was fear related. I was afraid of any long-term side effects that I could experience down the road.”
So, she did a lot of research about the vaccine and the different types out there.
“Thankfully, I am friends with a lot of nurses and other people in the health care field, so I have been able to use their knowledge and professional opinions to help me make my decision,” Alexis says.
She decided to go for it.
“I received my first shot on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, so everything is still very new,” Alexis says. “As of Wednesday, all I have experienced has been a very sore arm and some overall brain fog. The nurse who administered my vaccine said I may feel more intense side effects after my second dose.”
Alexis is sensitive to the feelings of others when it comes to talking to them about getting vaccinated.
“I have encouraged a few of my friends and family to make a decision that best suits them,” she says. “For me, personally, it was very hard and frustrating when people were trying to pressure me into getting the vaccine without respecting my decision to get it when I felt comfortable.”
Her advice to others considering whether or not to get vaccinated would be to continue doing the research and talking to others who have received it.
“Do not make a decision because someone else tells you that you need to or attempts to guilt you into it,” Alexis stresses. “It is important to make the decision when you feel completely comfortable doing so.”