Ivey, state health officials, receive doses of coronavirus vaccine
MONTGOMERY — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey received her initial dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on Monday afternoon at a Montgomery hospital.
Joining Ivey in receiving doses of the vaccine Monday afternoon were State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre, two of the top-ranking officials at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
When asked why she chose to take the vaccine Monday, Ivey responded that she and the accompanying health officials “wanted to send a clear message to all Alabamians that you can have confidence in this vaccine.”
“I’m not trying to step ahead of the line. I’m trying to say to Alabamians, ‘You can have confidence in this vaccine and its effectiveness,'” she reiterated when prompted again on the subject.
“I wanted to prove it by showing I’m willing to take it, so did Dr. Harris, so did Dr. McIntyre,'” the governor stated.
Harris also noted he felt it was entirely appropriate for Ivey to receive a vaccine dose, saying there is value in the public seeing its leaders back up with actions their claims the vaccine is safe.
Harris noted on Monday that Alabama has been allotted enough doses for around 10% of Alabama’s health care workers to get their first dose of the vaccine.
He explained that the state’s “Phase 1A” for receiving a vaccine dose was health care providers and nursing home residents; two groups, when added together, equal around 330,000 Alabamians.
One reporter asked Ivey how receiving the treatment felt.
“I didn’t feel it going in,” the governor responded.
“Even if you develop a sore arm for a few days,” added Ivey in reference to a common vaccine side effect, “shoot, that is better than three months on a ventilator.”
With respect to the Pfizer vaccine, the FDA said, “the most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever.”
The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the two currently approved for use in the United States, are given via two injections administered a few weeks apart.
“Of note,” the regulator added, “more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose,”
Ivey and the two health officials will need to return to the hospital in the middle of January to receive their second and final doses of the vaccine product.
According to Pfizer, full vaccine protection arrives around two weeks after receiving the second dose.
The governor’s initial dose of the Pfizer product was administered by Donna Pugh, a registered nurse at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery.
“I want to thank all our health care heroes,” Ivey stated Monday.