Retired gastroenterologist Dr. Danice Hertz claims that she once "completely trusted" the health system in the U.S. and "believed the FDA was honest and decent." But after going through the "worst experience" of her life upon receiving the COVID vaccine, she has changed her mind.

According to Charisma News, Hertz recently retired when the COVID pandemic sparked in early 2020. The realized that she may have to come out of retirement to support the struggling health system at the time, so she decided to sign up and be one of the first to receive the COVID vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assured the public that it was completely safe.

Hertz then became one of the first few thousands of people who received the COVID vaccine in December 2020, just two weeks after the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization for the experimental drug. That was when the gastroenterologist began to experience COVID vaccine side effects.

Just thirty minutes after receiving the shot, she had began to experience COVID vaccine side effects that included high blood pressure, "excruciating pain in her face, chest constriction, severe tinnitus, tremors in her hands and twitching in her limbs," the report said. Hertz recounted, "My face started burning and tingling, and my eyes got blurry."

Hertz said that her body felt as if it was constantly vibrating despite having lost all feeling in her face. Many days after receiving the COVID vaccine, the gastroenterologist thought she was going to die.

Hertz said that fourteen months later, she still suffered from COVID vaccine side effects. Doctors diagnosed her with "presumed post-COVID reaction." Several visits to medical specialists later, Hertz was finally told that she was suffering from Mast Cell Activation Syndrome triggered by the Pfizer shot.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or MCAS is defined by the National Institutes of Health's Genetic Rare Diseases Information Center as a condition which "causes a person to have repeated severe allergy symptoms affecting several body systems." It occurs when mast cells "mistakenly release too many chemical agents, resulting in symptoms in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, heart, respiratory, and neurologic systems."

Hertz' condition urged her to scour the internet for more information and seek out others who have had the same "worst experience" of COVID vaccine side effects after getting the shot. The gastroenterologist found that many others have been diagnosed with MCAS or had the same symptoms she did.

Modern Healthcare News reported that Hertz now runs a Facebook group of about 150 people who like her have suffered from COVID vaccine side effects. She said she was careful to keep "anti-vaccine 'riff raff'" off the group but said that a lot of the people on the group, 90% of whom are women, have expressed frustration that they are "unable to get a diagnosis or find doctors who understand the nature of their injuries," the report said.

Such people include Brianne Dressen, a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah who was bedridden for months after receiving an AstraZeneca COVID vaccine in a clinical trial in November 2020. Dressen lamented, "Vaccines are an important piece of the puzzle to get us through the pandemic. But some people are going to draw the short straw with any drug or vaccine, and we need to take care of them."