BOSTON (CBS) – As a doctor on the front lines, working directly with COVID-19 patients, Dr. Mallika Marshall received her first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine Thursday morning.
Dr. Mallika: I received my first of two Pfizer vaccines at 10 a.m., along with several other Mass General Hospital employees. The process was efficient and quick. I checked in and sat down with the nicest MGH nurse who asked me a couple of questions. Have I ever had a reaction to any other vaccines? Am I allergic to polyethylene glycol, an ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine? I answered “no” to both.
She wiped off my arm with an alcohol swab and said, ‘You’ll feel a little pinch.’ And it was over. I felt virtually nothing. Less of a sting that I feel with a flu shot.
They observed me for about 15 minutes, had me schedule my second dose, which will be in three weeks, and that was it. It’s been about seven hours since I got poked and I feel completely fine. Minimal soreness at the injection site, no different than with any other vaccine.
How did you feel being one of the first healthcare workers in Massachusetts to receive the vaccine?
Dr. Mallika: I feel grateful and humbled. As an urgent care physician who sees patients with COVID-19 and tests people for the virus, I and my colleagues have been included in the first wave of workers offered the vaccine. I’ve been so emotional and tearful the past few days seeing the first healthcare workers vaccinated around the country.
But I have to say this morning I was not emotional. I was excited. It reminded me of the feeling I had driving into the hospital each time I gave birth: that feeling of anticipation and pure joy. And when I got home my middle child said, ‘Hi Mom. Happy Vaccine Day!’ That said it all. I am hoping that everyone out there can and will experience the same sense of relief that I feel in the very near future.