First Duke worker to get COVID-19 vaccine explains how she's feeling two days later

Nurse Faye Williams is surprised by all the fuss over her history making COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday, the 67-year-old frontline worker was the first person and first Black person at Duke Health to get the shot.

Two days later, she sat down with ABC11 exclusively to tell us how she feels.

"I can share my experience. It was just an injection. My arm on the first day, on a 1-10 scale, it may have been a 3, as far as soreness. Today it is fine. I feel nothing. No pain. No sniffles. No body aches," Williams said. "So I'm just looking forward to the next three weeks when I can get my second injection."

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Retired nurse Faye Williams returned to Duke to volunteer at the beginning of the pandemic. She was the first Triangle healthcare worker to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Williams came out of retirement back in July, in the middle of the pandemic, to help prescreen Duke Health patients for symptoms of the virus.


When she signed up to be vaccinated, she was not expecting to be the first.

Williams jumped at the opportunity, understanding how powerful the image of her getting vaccinated would be, and how it could save lives, especially in the Black community, who are disproportionately impacted.

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"We need to be part of the plan. We need to be at the table. We need to be able to study the statistics on how we react," Williams said. "I'm just amazed at the people who have reached out. I've never had 80 text messages before. Just saying if you can do it. I can do it."

Williams will get her second COVID-19 vaccine in early January.

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