Respiratory therapist who got COVID vaccine: 'Trust the science'

Health care workers across Wisconsin have been getting the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Aurora hospitals have given shots to more than 50 frontline workers so far. Among them, one woman who says it was important for her and those around her to get the vaccine.

Laura Reindl is a respiratory therapist here at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center. She has seen the devastation of COVID-19 up close and said it's something she never wants to bring home to her family.

"I just wanted to set an example," Reindl said.

Laura Reindl

It only took a matter of seconds, but what she did will have a lasting impact.

"I see this as just a part of our future," Reindl said. "This is not necessarily going away. We have to trust the science."

Reindl was one of the first 50 Aurora Health Care workers in Wisconsin to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. She's worked as a respiratory therapist for the last 31 years, though the last nine months may have been the most difficult.

"I have seen the devastation this disease has on patients and I’ve seen the trauma with the families," said Reindl.

Laura Reindl

Reindl works closely with coronavirus patients, giving them needed treatments.

"I personally want to be able to care for these patients without fear of contracting the disease itself," Reindl said. "I don’t want it to get home to my family."

It's especially important because Reindl's husband is a recent cancer survivor — and she didn't want to take any chances.

"I don’t want to bring that home to him because of my job," she said. "So, whatever I can do to minimize that I will do."

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She is encouraging others to get vaccinated when they can -- a small shot that offers a world of hope.

"It is physically, emotionally draining to work in this environment," said Reindl. "It really is hard. We need to go back to a more normal living situation."

Reindl said she did have a little soreness in her arm, similar to when she's gotten a flu shot. She says she is looking forward to getting that second dose.

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