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Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

AdventHealth ER Doc Got His COVID Vaccine. Here's What He Thinks About It

Dr. Regan Schwartz, an ER physician with AdventHealth Orlando, says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its minor side effects.
Danielle Prieur / WMFE
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Dr. Regan Schwartz, an ER physician with AdventHealth Orlando, says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its minor side effects.

Dr. Regan Schwartz has been treating COVID-19 patients since March. He says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its minor side effects.

AdventHealth Orlando says the demand for coronavirus vaccines among health care workers has been high since it became available to staff on Wednesday.

Emergency room Dr. Regan Schwartz says he’s only experienced a little soreness at the site of the injection similar to a flu shot since getting his inoculation.

“We are frontline role models of something that’s going to be very effective in treating this pandemic,” said Schwartz, who is chairman of AdventHeath Orlando’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

Schwartz, who has treated COVID-19 patients since March, says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its side effects.

“We look at the patients that we have sitting in ICUs now and you compare very minimum side effect profile compared to the worst-case scenario, and that’s a comparison I make,” he said. “So, absolutely, (it’s) a vaccine that everyone should take.”

AdventHealth Orlando was among Florida’s “Pfizer 5,” a quintet of hospitals to receive the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to begin vaccinated frontline health workers. Long-term care facilities are also in the opening phase of inoculations.

Dr. Steven Smith, chief scientific officer for AdventHealth Research Institute Orlando, says the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing the coronavirus.

“The 5 percent of people that got infected with COVID after the vaccine, they had very mild cases. They didn’t end up in the hospital, they didn’t end up on a ventilator,” he said.

Smith said the vaccine’s profile is similar to the measles vaccine, which is also around 90-plus percent effective.

The hospital system expects to be able to vaccinate the general public in February or March.

Copyright 2020 Health News Florida

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