COVID-19 Vaccine Testimonial: James M. Galloway
As part of our ongoing campaign to encourage and ramp up vaccination in Black communities across America, Sage Collective is creating testimonials that showcase why people have chosen to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and what the experience was like. To start, we’re engaging our own Board of Directors and Leadership Team to share their stories.
After sharing the experience of Sage Collective’s own Donna Gaines and Dwain Kyles, this week we interviewed Rear Admiral (Ret.) James M. Galloway, MD, FACP, FACC, a United States medical doctor and Public Health physician, and member of the Sage Collective Leadership Team.
Why did you personally take the COVID-19 vaccine? Did you have any reservations or questions? Do you feel you had all the information you needed to take the decision to be vaccinated? What /who were your sources of information and guidance?
As a physician and a public health professional, as well as a pandemic preparation lead under President Obama, I felt comfortable with vaccine safety in general but, of course, I had to do my diligent research into these COVID vaccines and the science behind them before being satisfied that they were safe and effective. I researched and reviewed the studies themselves as well as looked to the CDC and FDA for their evaluations and data. After these reviews, I felt very comfortable with receiving the vaccine.
When did you receive your COVID-19 vaccine and from what company (Moderna, Pfizer, etc.)? What was the experience of signing up/scheduling? Have you received both shots? Where did you have to go to get your vaccinations? What was the experience like of getting into the chair and actually receiving the shot? (If you’ve received both shots, you can break this down by each experience).
As a vaccination center volunteer, I received my first Moderna vaccine in late February and the second in early March. At our vaccination center, in Arizona, sign up was on a website and obtaining the vaccine shot was simple and straightforward, with no untoward effects.
How did you feel after receiving the vaccine, physically or otherwise? Did you experience any side effects?
I had no side effects from either shot. My wife, a nurse who worked at the center as well, had some mild fatigue that evening and went to bed early – and felt fine the next day.
What is your doctor saying about how COVID-19 vaccination fits into your long term health plan? Are you taking any aftercare measures — if so, what?
The risk of COVID for me was much greater than the risk of the vaccine and provides me with a sense of relief I have not felt in a year. It remains critically important, even after vaccination, to wear a mask and maintain social distancing in public and around those who have not been vaccinated as well as continuing to avoid large gatherings. However, within our household and among our close relatives, all have been vaccinated now – and you cannot believe the wonder of hugging my 5 year old granddaughter again after a year!
Are you serving as a guide to others who are seeking information and reassurance about being vaccinated?
Absolutely. I have spoken with a great number of people who were hesitant about getting the vaccine due to concerns about its safety. After I had the chance to share with them the results of my research and study, many of these individuals proceeded to get their vaccinations.
Overall, what do you believe makes COVID-19 vaccination so important to society writ large, and in your specific community?
It is imperative that we protect our families and community members by getting OUR vaccine! It is also important for us as a nation and a community to get back towards normal, to open our schools, our businesses, our communities and our homes.