Health Advice



How life changed for 10 health experts who got coronavirus vaccines

Megan Reeves, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

“Here, it’s a sense of relief, and being associated with that has really lifted my mental state,” he said. “It gives me that much extra energy to say, ‘Just hang on with the masks just a little bit longer and we’ll be through this thing.’”

Mary Jo Trepka

Department of Epidemiology chair, Florida International University

Trepka’s second dose of the Moderna vaccine gave her aches, chills and a headache for about 30 hours, then the side effects abruptly ended. “If you suddenly work out a lot, you’re sore the next day,” the 56-year-old professor said. “To me, that’s what this is, your immune system working out and you feeling the effects of that.”

She hasn’t changed anything about her daily life since being vaccinated, she said, because many of those around her haven’t been. But her mindset has changed some. There’s less dread and anxiety — and she’s seen the same happen for others she knows who have gotten shots.

“I certainly don’t worry as much, but I am still being careful because of the people around me,” Trepka said. “I won’t feel good until most people are vaccinated.”


Jay Wolfson

Public health expert, University of South Florida

Through the pandemic, Wolfson and his wife, Olga, have been creative about seeing friends. Zoom dinners became regular occurrences with one couple they’re close to, where they’d set the same menu and decide on a particular wine to share through their computer screens.

But now all four of them are vaccinated, said Wolfson, 68. And they’re meeting next week for in-person dinner for the first time in a year.


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