Fresno healthcare worker shares his COVID-19 vaccine journey

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno healthcare worker is sharing his COVID-19 vaccine journey through his video diary.

Patrick Huls recorded himself on camera at every stage of getting the vaccine, describing his emotions and feelings before and after getting the shots.

For him, the journey wasn't just about protecting himself, it was about being able to protect the community while also serving it as a frontline worker.

"To me, it's a no-brainer to get this (vaccine)," Huls said on December 22, just before he received the first dose.

At the time, hospitals were already struggling to keep up with an alarming surge in patients due to the holiday season, while more and more staff members were getting sick or having to quarantine.

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Huls spoke about wanting to do his part to ease the strain on the healthcare system.

"We're stretched pretty thin and I feel like if I can at least get the vaccine and do my part, we can figure this out," he said in the video.

On January 11, three weeks after receiving the first dose, Huls recorded a video as he prepared to receive the second shot. The Pfizer vaccine is meant to be administered in two doses 21 days apart.

On that day, Huls' excitement was palpable.

"I feel like after today, and after the full immunization has kicked in, I'll have a little bit more sense of security working at the hospital," he said.

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But he was also aware that there may be unpleasant after-effects this time.

"The first dose, I didn't have any side-effects. My arm hurt just like any other vaccine might but other than that, I didn't experience any symptoms. I do know that people have experienced more symptoms with the second dose, so we'll see," he said.

He was right to be apprehensive.

That night, several hours after Huls had received the second dose, he began to experience aches and chills, enough to need several blankets and wake up at night in a sweat.

"It did kinda knock me out last night," he recalled the next morning.

But he said it was a small price to pay to be protected against the virus:
"For me, the one night of feeling like this doesn't really compare to the fact that I could spend days, months in a hospital for having COVID and being on a respirator."

He added:
"All in all, it wasn't something that nobody can handle."
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