GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the first front-line workers in West Michigan to get the COVID-19 vaccine says he feels good one day later.

“Physically speaking, I have a little bit of a sore arm where the injection was given, very similar to any other vaccine. Otherwise, no symptoms. I feel fine. Totally fine,” said Dr. Marc McClelland, a pulmonologist with Spectrum Health.

McClelland describes what he feels the day after as “essentially identical feeling of the day after the flu shot.”

“It was very easy, very quick. At the time, relatively painless. With one day under my belt so far doing well,” he said.

McClelland says his work during the pandemic has been emotional.

“It’s been very challenging. It’s been very stressful being a health care worker right now. In particular, what I do in the intensive care unit is taking care of patients who are quite sick with COVID. Mostly people on ventilators. It’s hard. It’s been taxing on all of us in the health care field,” he said.

McClelland says the decision to get the vaccine wasn’t a hard one for him. He says the vaccine looks promising, and because of what he’s seen over the last several months, he weighed the downside to the upside.

“When I look at the potential downside or risk of side effect, which is not zero but small, and I think about the potential upside, which is huge. Not just in terms of individually but for protecting my family, protecting my co-workers, protecting my patients and generally protecting the community, it was kind of a no-brainer,” McClelland said.

When asked if the vaccine could be the beginning of the pandemic’s end, McClelland said it certainly feels like a historic sort of turning point.

“Time will tell. I think it looks very promising. The effectiveness looks quite good. I think everybody is ready to find some hope here. We’ve been living through this difficult time for the last several months, and everybody’s done a nice job of doing what needs to be done, but I think we’d all like to get back to some semblance of normalcy,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids has administered about 150 vaccines to front-line staffers. Spectrum’s goal is to vaccinate up to 6,000 staff per week when all hospital clinics are operational and additional doses of the vaccine become available.