HOPEDALE (WEEK) – As the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now being shipped across the globe, more people are receiving the vaccine. For Tamara Hanley and her husband, it’s been months of checking in with doctors after taking part in the Peoria area Pfizer vaccine trials.
Hanley said she didn’t take the decision lightly. “I have pre existing conditions I was worried about and my physician said go ahead and do it,” she explained.
They received their first “dose” in August and then the second in September, three weeks apart. Hanley said she knows her vaccine wasn’t the placebo because she the side effects she felt were very real, while her husband didn’t suffer any.
“I had a very sore arm for about a week. I had a red spot where the second shot was given. It felt like there was a lump in there. [..] A little bit of a fever, a touch of diarrhea and I was tired and fatigued for about 36 hours and then I was fine. It’s no different side effects than when you get your flu shot,” she explained.
Hanley runs a wildlife rehabilitation center where she nurses birds back to health, including a bald eagle that was found sickly on the side of a road recently. She and her husband also own a small business buying and selling military artifacts and memorabilia. She said they’ve been crushed this year due to COVID. Both of them ready to get back to “normal.”
“We want our old normal back. We’re tired of wearing a mask. We’re tired of all the restrictions. And the quicker we can get back to normal, instead of sitting around and complaining about it we decided to help science,” Hanley said passionately.
Hanley said she hopes others will be brave enough to get the vaccine when it becomes available. She said herd immunity depends on it. Peoria City County Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson told us last month that in order to achieve herd immunity, 80% of people in our area need to be vaccinated.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s not going to change your DNA. You’re not going to grow a third eye. You’re not going to have your hair fall out. It’s not going to affect you more than maybe make you a little tired, cranky for a day or two,” explained Hanley.