Infectious disease doc calls COVID-19 vaccine ‘a breeze’

JACKSONVILE, Fla. – Monday will mark one week since doctors and healthcare workers began receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Out of the thousands of frontline workers to receive the vaccination nationwide, there were only six reports of anyone showing major allergic reactions.

Mohammed Reza, a Jacksonville infectious disease doctor who has helped keep News4Jax informed about the pandemic’s impacts locally, said he didn’t have any ill effects after receiving his shot on Thursday.

“It didn’t even feel like anything. The person vaccinated me and I was looking and talking and I turned around and he was already done,” Reza said. “The only side effect I have had, which is now gone ... a little soreness at the injection site. Other than that, nothing, which is fantastic. Overall, this was a breeze.”

He plans to get his second shot in 21 days as called for by Pfizer.

Reza said others have experienced nausea, vomiting, headache, soreness at the site of injection and low-grade fever after getting the vaccine.

“Symptoms tend to resolve after 48 hours,” Reza said.

But the doctor we’re relied on for advice over the last several months said being vaccinated doesn’t mean life goes back to normal right away.

“It’s very important for your viewers to understand: I will continue to wear the mask because the studies haven’t really looked at asymptomatic carriers transmitting the virus,” Reza said. “Like myself, I have received the vaccine, so I am, technically, especially after that second dose, protected from having severe COVID, requiring hospitalizations or death. But that does not preclude (that I could) carry the virus asymptomatically and transmit the virus to my coworkers, family members or patients. That’s why it’s so important to wear that mask, even after you get vaccinated.”

Earlier this week, Reza joined hundreds of other doctors across the state and the nation and several mayors of Florida cities urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a mask mandate.

Reza said the work of our government is not over until the vast majority of Americans are vaccinated.

“It is monumental from a medical-scientific perspective to come up with a vaccine so effective and so quickly. This is what happens when you put the best minds in the world -- putting science first -- that is what happens. But the important part, Zac, is not that we have come up with the vaccine, now the vaccine needs to go into people’s arms.”

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