Pfizer Study Participant Shares Why She Wanted the COVID Vaccine

Original Story from WSMV: Nashville ICU Doctor Writes ’12 Reasons’ To Get Vaccinated

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – While counties across Tennessee work feverishly to administer COVID-19 vaccines, a large majority of people are still hesitant to be vaccinated, many of whom are within the healthcare field.

In the first survey to exclusively focus on vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers in the U.S., Surgo Ventures polled 2,500 workers and found that of the 53% who had been offered the shot, 15% said they refused to take it.

“I personally was so excited when I heard about the vaccine that I just assumed all those around me felt the same way,” said Dr. Joyce Williams, DO, an intensivist within the ICU at Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. “When I started to hear, both in my personal and professional life, that people were hesitant about getting the vaccine, I was surprised.”

Williams was part of the Pfizer Phase III COVID vaccine trials through Clinical Research Associates in Nashville. When the study was unblinded in December 2020, Williams learned she had received the placebo and was given the opportunity to be vaccinated. She received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine within days of that notification and received her second dose in early January.

“I feel like I have this superpower, but it’s not a complete super-power because I still can’t live my life the way we were pre-COVID,” said Williams.

Williams attempted to tackle the issue of vaccine hesitancy in a new blog featured on KevinMD, a leading platform for physical and other advanced practitioners around the country.

Reasons To Get Vaccinated From COVID-19

The blog, titled “In case you need a reason to get the COVID vaccine, here are 12,” details Williams’ reasoning behind agreeing to be vaccinated, including working in the ICU at Tristar Centennial and seeing young patients die of the disease.

“People who aren’t old and don’t have other co-morbidities are getting sick and are dying from this and we finally have an out where we can do something about it and prevent it and we need to take action,” said Williams.

Williams also addresses the argument that the vaccine does not prevent transmission of COVID-19 from person to person.

“If we have a lot of people getting the vaccine, we don’t have to worry about getting sick from it. That’s really where the vaccine works – in the group effect of everyone having it,” said Williams.

Early in the COVID fight, health officials said 70% of people would need to be vaccinated before a community could reach herd immunity. That number has increased to 80% among many health professionals.

According to a recent Pew Research survey, 60% of Americans said they would definitely or probably get a vaccine for the coronavirus, if one were available today; 39% said they definitely or probably would not get a coronavirus vaccine.

Tennessee is considered in the top five of states in distributing vaccines and Davidson County is currently in Phase 1a1 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.

President-elect Joe Biden has promised 100 million shots will be given during his first 100 days in office, which begins Wednesday. So far, the government under President Donald Trump has delivered more than 31 million doses of the two vaccines across America, but only 12 million – or about 39% – have been used.

“I got the COVID vaccine because I want to hug my mom,” Williams wrote in the blog. In her 10th reason for getting vaccinated, she detailed her own mother’s hesitancy and how she confronted the issue from her role as an ICU doctor.

“You think about it – she hasn’t seen her youngest grandkid in over a year-and-a-half – that’s more than half of my kids’ life. I would love for her to finally be able to see (my young daughter),” said Williams.

Learn More

Sign up to join one of Clinical Research Associates’ COVID vaccine clinical studies here.

Read frequently asked questions about vaccine clinical studies here.

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