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Nashville surgeon among first in Tennessee to receive authorized Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Tennessee covid-19 vaccine
Posted at 4:41 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 23:14:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Staff at Clinical Research Associates in Nashville began to administer Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to unblind patients who participated in the vaccine's clinical study.

On Wednesday night, Dr. William Polk, a Nashville surgeon, received the first dose of the vaccine. He will be among the first to receive the vaccine in Tennessee since it was given emergency authorization by the FDA last week.

Clinical Research Associates has been part of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial since August with 316 participants.

"Frankly it's miraculous that there is a vaccine, and it has 95% efficacy; it’s going to be distributed to the citizens of America, I just think we're very fortunate that we have the science to allow this happen," said Polk.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Polk below:

Staff offered vaccines on Wednesday to participants who did not know they were given the placebo shot in the trial. This shot will be given first to those who work in the health care field.

"The risk of the vaccine, the little bit discomfort, maybe a fever; that pales in comparison to the devastating effect that it can have on a real significant portion of people who get the virus," Polk said.

Polk will need a second dose in three weeks, and he says he will continue to wear a mask in public.

Now he just hopes this can be the start in defeating COVID-19.

"Just hope that we're going to actually get to the backside of this."

Tennessee hospitals will begin providing the Pfizer vaccine to front-line health care workers on Thursday.