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“The quickest way to get our lives back”: Why Dr. Lisa Brath got the vaccine

Dr. Lisa Brath Dr. Lisa Brath (Photo: Kevin Morley, University Marketing)

Having side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine was no surprise for Dr. Lisa Brath, medical director of both Respiratory Care and the Unique Pathogens Unit at VCU Medical Center. “I feel bad with every vaccine I get,” she said. “The flu shot puts me to bed.”

So when her arm swelled up at the site of her injection, her body ached and she ran out of energy, she took an over-the-counter painkiller and went on with her life. As a front-line worker for COVID patients, she’s seen far worse. She routinely cares for COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory issues.

The side effects she experienced after vaccination just mean the vaccine is doing its job, she pointed out. “This is your body saying, ‘Oh! I’m going to start making all the immune stuff I need to fight this virus.’ That’s all that is.”

With her second dose over and her mother scheduled for her first, Brath is looking forward to in-person visits with her mom — something she hasn’t done in what feels like ages. 

Vaccination, she said, “is what’s going to bring our lives back.”

Hear Dr. Brath tell her story:

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit our vaccine news center and sign up for vaccine email updatesFor a variety of news and information on COVID-19, please visit the VCU Health COVID-19 News Center.