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'I feel great' | Sentara's first frontline worker to get Pfizer vaccine shares update on her experience

Yolanda Dumas shared an update three days after she received the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

NORFOLK, Va. — All eyes were on Yolanda Dumas Tuesday as she rolled up her sleeve and became Sentara’s first frontline worker to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

She returned to work the same day.

Three days later, she said she’s doing just fine. On Friday, Dumas shared an update on her experience.

“I’m feeling great. I’m feeling wonderful, my body feels great,” said Dumas. “I don’t have no symptoms at all. The only thing that’s sore on me is my arms from the injection, but it’s gone away, I feel great… just took Tylenol and it was alright.”

Dumas has worked at Sentara for 20 years as an environmental services technician. She works in the emergency unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

She decided to get the vaccine to protect herself and those around her. After watching her get the vaccine, she said her family is on board to get it when it’s their turn.

“They’re just waiting to see when they can get vaccinated, my family and friends," Dumas said. "They kept calling me the same day I took it, like ‘When can I get it?’ It’s a waiting process.”

The FDA says major studies of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines found there were no major safety risks.

In a briefing document outlining the findings of the Pfizer vaccine trials, the FDA says the most common side effects among some trial participants were pain from the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and fever. 

The findings revealed most trial participants who experienced common side effects felt them after the second dose of the vaccine. The FDA says severe adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine were very uncommon, they only happened in less than half a percent of trial participants.

“If you can get it, get it,” said Dumas. “Try not to be scared. It’s nothing to be scared of, just trying to get over this COVID.”

Dumas will get the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in January.

She said she hopes her experience will encourage people across Hampton Roads and beyond to get the vaccine.