GROVE, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma nurse who says that she was skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine is now encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.
Grace Zieba, an emergency room nurse with INTEGRIS Grove Hospital, has been a nurse for 10 years.
As the coronavirus pandemic began impacting patients in her region, she says she was ready to treat them.
During the initial surge of cases, Zieba says she always noticed that patients who were really sick were either very old or were suffering from comorbidities.
As a result, she says she thought she would be OK if she were to get COVID-19.
“There was always other factors that had affected their overall health and I just kept thinking to myself, I’m young, and I’m healthy. And that was kind of my stance as far as even if I got COVID, I felt like it wasn’t gonna affect me as much as it had affected some of the patients that I had been caring for,” she said.
When the COVID-19 vaccines started being released, she says she was skeptical because the vaccines weren’t officially approved by the FDA. She says she was also concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccine.
“I’m not a big anti-vaxxer, I am vaccinated in every other area. But this was something that I just wasn’t really comfortable with,” Zieba said.
However, that all changed when the delta variant started infecting patients.
Now, she says the patients she is treating are younger and healthier than any that she saw during the initial surge of COVID-19 cases in 2020.
Zieba says the patients she is caring for are often her age, in their 40s, or even younger. She says some are just as healthy as her, or even healthier. Some have died, while others are fighting for their lives.
After seeing a patient in his 30s become seriously ill because of the delta variant, she began having conversations with doctors about the vaccine.
“I’ve made the decision that it’s time. It’s time to be vaccinated,” she said.
She says she is now encouraging family members, and her patients to get vaccinated.
“I’m not immune to COVID and I’m not ready for it to give me the fight of my life,” she said.