These frontline health workers are among the first to receive the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine after it was authorized for emergency use by the authorities. With a fervency reminiscent of voters showing off the indelible ink on their finger, these doctors have been sharing pictures and videos of their jabs on social media, suffixed with hashtags such as #IGotTheShot.
Among health-care professionals trying to combat anti-vax theories claiming that the shots will alter DNA or come embedded with microchips on social media is Dr Minal Ahson, who has treated both adults and children infected with the virus at Tampa General Hospital since March. From dislike of injecting “chemicals,” to disagreement on vaccination schedules for children, to “it makes me get the flu,” the pediatrician has heard a fair share of anti-vaccine rationale from patients so far. If someone knows “I’ve gotten it and I’m doing okay, maybe one more person will be more likely to get vaccinated or share my story with a family member who’s hesitant,” she said in an interview after getting the shot on December 15.
When she got the vaccine, Ahson — who also works an assistant professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine — said it “felt historic”. She shared her experience on social media and an op-ed piece in which she confessed: “Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about both the speed of vaccine development and new use of mRNA technology, but after research, discussion with respected colleagues and weighing the risks (that I have witnessed firsthand), the decision became obvious.”
Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina, posted updates on Twitter about how she was feeling after she got her shot. On day one, she said her arm felt sore, which “meant the vaccine is working”.