STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) – A doctor from Starkville was part of the historic first round of Mississippi healthcare workers to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“Way back when, doing the polio vaccine and small pox vaccine for the first time, trying to end those deadly diseases, that’s something I think we never thought we would experience again,” says Dr. Emily Landrum.
The physician from the Family Clinic in Starkville says it was a surreal moment receiving the inoculation on Wednesday.
“The exciting thing about these mRNA vaccines that we are utilizing now is that it’s new technology but it’s been studied for a long time,” she says.
In three weeks, Dr. Landrum will get the required second does of the Pfizer vaccine and it will be about a week after that that she should have full protection from the virus.
“It varies, but in general, I’m in contact with [the coronavirus] on a fairly regular basis,” she says.
In addition to protecting Dr. Landrum and her fellow front line workers, the Mississippi State Medical Association and Mississippi State Department of Health wanted to show the public that the vaccine is safe and ready.
“We need to get to a pretty high vaccination rate to really give good protection against severe disease and decrease our hospitalizations,” Dr. Landrum says. “So it is going to take a while but it’s so promising that we’re at least at the beginning of that phase.”
Dr. Landrum says that like most vaccines, they do expect Pfizer’s to have some initial side effects. Those could include soreness, slight fever and aches and pains. So far, Dr. Landrum says she feels fine.
“I’ve checked my arm several times at the injection site and not had any redness,” she says. “No rashes, no itching. I haven’t felt any headaches, body aches or anything like that out of my norm.”
Dr. Landrum has been documenting her reaction to the vaccine on social media as well as demonstration how the CDC is tracking the reactions of others who were vaccinated.
“We’ll have so much more information by the time that it’s available to the public,” says Dr. Landrum. “That I think, even then, it’s just going to be an even better and even more promising option for people.”
Dr. Landrum reiterated the projection that the vaccine could be available to the public by spring of 2021.