I was fortunate enough to receive the first dose of the COVID vaccine. A few weeks ago, I chose to get vaccinated in order to protect myself, my family, my friends and of course my patients. After reviewing the literature on the vaccines, I saw how efficacious they were and how there was a very little risk of side effects. With my own vaccine, I had a sore arm for about two days and a very little bit of fatigue. The more people that get vaccinated, the more likely it is that we will all return to a normal life soon. When you have the chance, I hope you too will get vaccinated. My name is Dr. Karen Eilber. I got the vaccine because it gives us all hope. It also allows me to do the job I need to do without worrying about my family, friends or myself. Vaccines are almost always the healthy choice. Vaccines undergo a tremendous amount of investigation into safety and efficacy before it's rolled out to the public. Vaccination is a way of activating our immune system without getting a natural infection and exposure to a component of a pathogen. Help to activate our immune system and develop antibodies. These antibodies help to fight against future infection when we are exposed to the same pathogen. One question that may be on your mind is, how can these vaccines possibly be safe if it took only a few short months to make them? Well, the short answer is it didn't take a few months to make these vaccines. They're based on more than two decades of research into DNA and messenger RNA based vaccines. Much of that research was performed because of the potential need for a vaccine to SARS-CoV-1, which obviously preceded the current virus, SARS-CoV-2, and also MERS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome causing virus. At any event, these current vaccines that have gained emergency use approval from FDA have been studied rigorously in large clinical trials. And as I said, evaluated by FDA and the larger clinical community. Leading me to the point where I can adamantly say they are safe. There's still a lot to be learned about the coronavirus and COVID-19 infection. We do not know how long immunity lasts after infection or vaccination. It's been suggested that we may need to get repeat coronavirus vaccines over time, but only time will tell whether that's the case. We know that the COVID-19 vaccine is very effective at reducing severe disease from COVID-19. What we don't know is whether the vaccine reduces transmission of the coronavirus. So in order to keep my family safe and in order to keep my community safe, I'm still wearing my mask when I'm at work. And when I'm out and about, I encourage you to do the same.