The HR website has been running a series of stories that highlight Princeton staff and what getting the vaccine has meant to them. To help further promote the importance of getting a vaccine, we are highlighting questions and answers with health professionals working in Princeton University Health Services. Today we feature Christina David, APN, Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
Q: How did you maintain hope during the pandemic?
A: Being aware that this is a global pandemic and a new virus we are dealing with, I kept a close eye on the scientific community and the updates on this virus. I was born and brought up in India, a country where polio was an epidemic. As a science student in my early teens, I was part of the polio vaccination drive in my country. I am proud that after years of vaccination, India finally declared polio-free, near eradication in January 2014. I kept my hope that there will be a vaccination for COVID as well. Meanwhile I do everything I can to keep safe, such as wearing masks, handwashing, and social distancing.
Q: Did the promise of a vaccine give you hope?
A: Absolutely. I was hopeful that Operation Warp Speed was working on developing a vaccine. Scientists were working timelessly across the globe to develop a vaccine. I have kept a close eye on the different trial stages of the vaccine, side effects, and efficacy rate.
Q: How did you feel when you got the vaccine?
A: I was one of the first group of people to get the vaccine. I felt grateful, relieved, and anxiously joyful to receive the vaccine. Like any other vaccine, I experienced mild symptoms that resolved in 24 hours.
Q: What would you tell people hesitant about getting it?
A: Please get the vaccine to protect yourself. History has repeatedly shown us that vaccines are safe. The healthcare community is one of the groups that received the vaccine first, so we could continue to work and take care of the sick. I know a few friends, physicians, and nurses who died caring for COVID patients, while waiting for the vaccine. I wish they had received the vaccine…they would still be here today.
Q: How does it make you feel when people call you a front-line hero?
A: I am humbled and feel blessed to be part of the medical community. Heroes have fears too. There were days where I cried as I could not help a dying friend who was in ICU battling COVID-19. I felt helpless when my uncle passed away in India from COVID. I stayed up nights to answer questions from frantic family members inflicted with COVID. Now we have hope with the vaccine. Everyone in my family and extended family has received the vaccine and I am grateful.
Q: What did you learn from this challenging experience in your career?
A: In the beginning I felt helpless and crippled with fear about this new COVID-19 virus. But as I learned more, kept a close ear to evidence-based science, and gathered courage from past experiences and history of communicable diseases and infections, I felt hopeful that we can beat this virus together. Please get vaccinated. It is an important step to beat this virus and this pandemic together as a country!
Princeton University is hosting a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics, available to all members of the University community and to the public at large. The State of New Jersey Department of Health has made available doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered in clinics at Jadwin Gym on campus. Clinics are scheduled for the following dates:
• Wednesday, September 1, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, September 8, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, September 15, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments can be booked via the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS). Walk-ins are welcome.