Dr. Chris Branner receives his COVID-19 vaccines, and encourages others to do so too

Coronavirus Updates | one year ago

Why Dr. Chris Branner Trusts the COVID-19 Vaccine, and Is Encouraging Others To Trust It Too

Dr. Chris Branner is proud to be among the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine! Read more to hear why he was so eager to receive the vaccine, and what he said about his experience receiving his first dose:

Editor's note: This below email was written by Dr. Chris Branner, specialty medical director of Atrium Health Urgent Care Services. In this note, he recounted his experience getting his initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and encouraged each eligible Urgent Care teammate to do the same. 

As Atrium Health is rolling out vaccines to teammates, I was asked to participate with an early group to receive the vaccine as part of the system's testing phase which helps to evaluate process steps such as scheduling and throughput. But an even more important reason that I was excited to be an early adopter, is to be a leader in addressing vaccine hesitancy. The COVID vaccine (we are currently receiving the Pfizer product) is proven safe and effective in preventing coronavirus infection. Additional clinical information, such as the ability decrease severity of disease if you do become infected, is also being studied nationwide. Vaccine hesitancy is significant across the country and is surprisingly high in healthcare workers. Additionally, black and brown people have been disproportionately affected by COVID, and yet vaccine hesitancy in these groups, especially African-Americans for many legitimate historical reasons, is shockingly high.

Atrium Health Urgent Care has been placed in North Carolina's Priority Group 1A. We will be amongst the first teammates eligible to receive this vaccine. The vaccine will not be mandatory, but I truly hope that every Urgent Care teammate who does not have medical contraindications will get it!

I thank each and every one of you for the sacrifices and risks you take every day, and I truly see this week as the beginning of the end of this pandemic. We are now armed with the ability to protect not only ourselves, but more importantly, our loved ones and our communities. Before I leave for work, every shift, my wife says, "Don't bring back COVID!" And while I know that it's a bit of humor, we all know that the best humor is lined with a bit of truth. As my immune system builds protection against this virus, over the coming days and weeks, I know that I will continue to decrease the likelihood of my work being a risk to my family, and that is the final reason why today, personally for me, is so exciting!

As always, stay safe!


PS - my only regret is that my nurse Deanne was not the one to give me my shot... and I didn't get a princess band-aid 😞🤣


Chris Branner, MD, MPH, FAAP

Specialty Medical Director

Urgent Care Services

Atrium Health