Houston healthcare worker taking COVID-19 vaccine urges others to 'do it for greater good'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As healthcare systems across the Texas Medical Center prepare for their first shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, healthcare employees are preparing too.

"Soon as I found out that it was available, I signed up right away," said Johnie Leonard, the nursing director for emergency services at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Leonard said she signed up for a morning vaccine on Tuesday and is expected to get the shot just hours after the hospital receives its shipment the same day.

"I'm not that worried about the side effects. You know, we take the flu vaccine every year as well. I am anticipating it may be similar to that," Leonard said.

She said Houston Methodist held town halls over the past few days, educating employees on this ground-breaking, game-changing vaccine.

When asked if she plans to go home after getting her shot, Leonard said, "I anticipate going over, taking it, and getting right back to work."

Leonard told ABC13 she wants to get back to her employees and share her experience with them.

She adds she'll be thinking of her 95-year-old mother as she gets the shot. Leonard also encourages every Houstonian to do it for someone else, calling it the "most patriotic thing to do right now."

"That is the one thing that you can do that can help the entire country and your neighborhood," said Leonard. "It is much bigger than yourself."

SEE ALSO:

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MD Anderson receives first batch of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Why all eyes will be on COVID-19 vaccine rollout this week

'Time to get started:' Houston healthcare workers gear up for vaccine

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