WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As COVID vaccine is made more available, we spoke with the St. Lawrence Health System doctor who was the first in the county to get the shot. He has a message for everyone in the north country.
Dr. Andrew Williams is the St. Lawrence County Board of Health president. On Tuesday, he was the first in the county to receive the COVID vaccine, which he says is a big step in the right direction.
“Just very excited, you know, honored to be able to take part in what I think is a very important effort and something that should help signify the beginning, and I emphasize the beginning, of the end of this pandemic,” he said.
Dr. Williams is assuring people that the vaccine was carefully studied and that it is safe and he is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated when it becomes available.
“I think that healthcare providers, myself included who are generally very thoughtful people, we’ve all looked at the information and we’ve taken the step to get vaccinated because we feel confident about its safety,” he said.
But this is only the beginning of phase one of the vaccination process. Dr. Williams says there are five phases. Phase one is for healthcare providers. Most non-medical workers and first responders will not begin to be vaccinated until phase three.
“It’s going to take some time and people need to be patient and it’s our priority and public health and the medical profession of pharmacies to get this vaccine to people as quickly as we can. But it is going to take some time,” said Dr. Williams.
He said that after getting vaccinated, his arm was a little sore, similar to after a flu shot, but he did not feel any major side effects.