As medical director of the VCU Health Surgery and Trauma Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Paula Ferrada has extensive experience managing COVID-19 patients. She’s witnessed the suffering of patients, families and friends as those with COVID-19 become terribly sick, go on ventilators and sometimes pass away.

“I feel it’s our responsibility, as health care providers going in the forefront, to not only continue to serve by providing clinical treatment, but to continue to serve by getting vaccinated,” she said.

Despite a death toll reaching beyond 400,000 in the United States, Dr. Ferrada knows lots of people are still hesitant to accept the vaccine. For her, getting vaccinated was the right thing to do for herself, her son, her family and her patients. “It’s the only way we’re going to be able to start living again a normal life.

“I believe in science,” she said. Plus, “I miss hugging people.”

In this video diary, Dr. Ferrada explains five things you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine.
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