MILWAUKEE— Ben Weston, an emergency room doctor at Froedtert Hospital, has seen a lot in the last nine months.
“I’ve seen those infected with the virus become sick, struggle for air, be put on ventilators, and I’ve seen and cared for many who have died, died in this hospital that I sit in now, and in hospitals across this country and around the world,” says Weston, the director of medical services at the Milwaukee County office of emergency management.
Those experiences, paired with the rigorous trials the vaccine has gone through, is why Weston says he didn’t want to wait to take the vaccine.
Exactly 21 days after his first shot, Weston got his second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, completing the vaccination process.
“I feel like I’ve waited over nine months for this vaccine,” Weston says.
Weston says he has heard from many who want to wait for more people to get the vaccine before they take it, saying they’re worried about potential side effects.
He says he had very minimal side effects after his first shot.
“The following day I had a bit of a sore arm,” Weston says. "It lasted, as I remember, the afternoon into the evening. I could still do everything, I could still do activities. I went for a run, I was feeling fine enough to do all of that.”
Weston says one colleague reported flu-like symptoms for a day or two.
He has not seen or heard of anyone in the Milwaukee County area having severe side effects, like fever, chills, and body aches.
“The sore arm is pretty common, but all the other ones are fairly rare,” Weston says. "They happen, but they’re fairly rare.”
There are also concerns among those who have allergies.
Weston says those issues have also been rare in Milwaukee County, but says it’s why nurses monitor you for 15 minutes to a half-hour after getting the shot.
While the state of Wisconsin is focused on vaccinating healthcare workers, and those who live and work in assisted living facilities, Weston hopes everyone will get the vaccine as soon as they are able.
“It’ll be for yourself; it’ll be for your families, and it will certainly be for the betterment of your, and our, community,” Weston says.