A doctor’s checkup: Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass’ journey with the COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 7:34 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) - Pikeville Medical Center began administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to some of its staff on Tuesday.

Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass, director of Infectious Diseases, was the first to be vaccinated then. Twenty-four hours following his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, he’s “feeling wonderful” with no symptoms.

“We prayed for the best, and this is what happened,” Dr. Al Akhrass said. “I slept on my side, there was no pain, no discomfort today, and my biceps today were a little bigger. That’s good, too.”

Some participants in the Pfizer trial developed mild or moderate symptoms following their first shot, but this is something Al Akhrass assures the public is “normal.”

“All vaccines have the same side effects. You’re putting a needle into the muscle, and that creates some sort of reaction. The reaction to the vaccine could be pain at the injection site, redness, or swelling. But these are symptoms of all vaccines, not particularly the COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr. Al Akhrass says these symptoms should resolve within 12 to 36 hours following the shot.

Armored up with his first dose, alongside personal protective equipment or PPE, Al Akhrass is optimistic of what the second dose of the vaccine will bring.

“This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, yet people are fearful,” Dr. Al Akhrass said. ”I would hope to see you next Christmas with a lot of joy, light, and gathering. This is the first piece of the puzzle to fill that picture and make that picture beautiful, hopefully next Christmas.”

Al Akhrass will get his second dose of the vaccine at the beginning of January.

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