SASD Nurse Gretebeck Addresses COVID Vaccine

Julia Lee, Staff Writer

Since early December of 2020, the COVID-19 vaccine has been rolling out across the country and reaching healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines. However, with the speed that the vaccine has been distributed, there are still many questions that need answering.
The Stoughton Area School District nurse, Laurel Gretebeck, provided answers and insight into this significant medical breakthrough. Gretebeck, a registered nurse for the district since 1997, has had to adjust just like everyone else through the pandemic.
Her days used to include switching between buildings in the district and taking care of students. Now, with the pandemic, Gretebeck states, “I’m in charge of developing their health plan and making sure it’s implemented,” meaning she has been busy with making procedures to keep people in the district safe.
When discussing the ingredients and risks to the vaccine, Gretebeck clarifies that while all vaccines can have potential side effects, the vaccine itself cannot infect you with the virus, as it does not contain a live virus. According to Gretebeck, the most common side effect after getting the first round of the vaccine has been a sore arm at the injection site.
Gretebeck refers to her own experience of getting the first round of the vaccine at the Stoughton Hospital.
“My personal experience [was] that I had really mild tenderness at the site. [But] otherwise, I wouldn’t have known I’d had a shot,” Gretebeck says.
Gretebeck describes the process: “Stoughton Hospital had a very efficient process, and they monitored each person for at least fifteen minutes after to make sure there were no significant side effects. Then before you leave you are signed up for your second shot, as is required for both Pfizer and Moderna,” Gretebeck says.
As to when teachers or students get the vaccine, it is still difficult to assume from any source, but the information is updated consistently on the Wisconsin Public Health Website. Besides that, Public Health states it should be available to the general public sometime in the spring of 2021 or later.
Gretebeck has reassuring news for people who are uneasy about receiving the vaccine.
“I think it’s helpful that people get the facts and look at the benefits and the risks. Also, consult your healthcare provider when it comes your time to get it. Make yourself informed prior to getting it,” Gretebeck says.
However, even after you get the vaccine, The CDC states it is still essential to follow COVID guidelines– for example, wearing a mask and social distancing to keep everyone safe. Just as Gretebeck states, “Getting the vaccine is only one tool. We need to combine all of these tools so we [can] get out of this pandemic.”