Dr. Mohammad Ali, with Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, was all smiles Friday morning while explaining via a virtual interview how he was doing after receiving his second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.
“Overall, I’ve been feeling very well,” he said.
Ali is among dozens of staff members with Guthrie who began receiving their second doses Thursday.
Ali said, so far, he has experienced minor symptoms such as tenderness around the injection site, but nothing that would be concerning.
“I didn’t really have anything other than that,” he said. “I had some chills, but not necessarily any fever or any reaction. So, overall I would say this is very similar to getting any other vaccine — for example the flu shot that we get every year.”
His colleagues are experiencing similar symptoms, he said. None of the symptoms people have experienced have required them to take a day off or seek additional medical attention.
Concerns over whether places would see second doses came as the state is nearing the end of its allotment of vaccines from the federal government.
Hospital President Jennifer Yartym said it received all second-dose vaccines for all of those at the hospital who had already received the first.
“We have our full allotment of second doses already on site, so there is no concern,” she said. “We don’t anticipate a shortage of those second doses.”
Yartym said the hospital has a system to remind people of their next appointment to get their second dose and that those appointments are set up after administering the first dose.
If the second dose must be delayed for some reason, the shot would be provided at a rescheduled date, she added.
The second dose of the Moderna vaccine can be administered as early as 24 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be administered 21 days after the first dose.
However, Yartym said she couldn’t say how long someone could go without getting the second dose before, perhaps, needing to redo the entire vaccination procedure.
Ali said he’s still educating patients on the safety of the vaccine.
“I’m reassuring them about the fact that it’s a good step as we try to fight this virus,” he said. “I try to educate them about the possible local or systemic side effects, which are no different than any other vaccines.”
Ali said he shows patients data and clinical trial information on both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
“Yeah, there’s still some questions that need to be answered, but generally, overall, the data has been very encouraging and has been positive as far as the efficacy and the safety is concerned,” Ali said. “I’ve noticed that has put a lot of them at ease when I go over that.
He also said what better example to send to his patients than everyone at the office got vaccinated and is experiencing minimal symptoms.”