First Second-dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Goes to Nurse Who Experienced COVID-19 Firsthand

“I strongly support anyone who is able to receive the vaccine because of the struggles I have gone through with COVID-19,” said Daniel Fischer, BSN, RN, GERO-BC 3 Lacks, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. 

Jeana Smits, nurse manager at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, administers the first second-dose of Pfizer to Daniel Fischer.

“I had already contracted COVID-19 this past May and did not want to repeat that experience again.”

Fischer’s firsthand experience with COVID-19 prompted him to volunteer to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, when Mercy Health Saint Mary’s initially received the vaccine on December 17, 2020. After 17 days, Fischer came back to the vaccination clinic for his second dose on Sunday, January 3, 2021, becoming the first colleague at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 “I still have lingering effects related to the virus,” said Fischer. “I chose to get vaccinated because I don’t want my family and friends to experience what I have gone through.”

The symptoms he experienced within 24 hours of being vaccinated were extremely mild when compared to fighting the virus, according to Fischer.

He lauds the vaccination process at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

“Obtaining the COVID vaccine was simple,” Fischer said. “The team here at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has done an amazing job streamlining and coordinating the rollout of our vaccination program. 

“I want to continue safely caring for those suffering from COVID-19, while also being able to protect my family and friends.”

Fischer adds that he is grateful to be in a position to have received a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I am excited for my loved ones, friends, and patients to receive it as soon as possible.”

As of Saturday, January 9, 2021, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has vaccinated nearly 400 colleagues with the second dose.

Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Matt Biersack, MD, also wants to add to our colleagues and those in the community: “If you have already received your vaccine – don’t let your guard down! Until a sufficient proportion of the population has been vaccinated and the prevalence of COVID-19 has fallen in the community, we still need to ensure we’re keeping our distance, masking and routinely washing our hands.”

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit

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