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NBC’s Al Roker received his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine live on Today.
As a resident of New York, Roker qualified because he’s over 65. He spent the weekend on the state health department’s website, trying to nab an appointment.
The meteorologist shared his experience on Instagram, and many were excited by the news.
As part of Today’s “Vaccinating America” series, NBC’s own “Uncle” Al Roker received his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine live on Today. As a resident of New York, Roker qualified because he’s over 65. He spent the weekend on the state health department’s website, trying to nab one of the few appointments available.
“I kept hitting refresh, refresh, refresh on the browser and finally got in… They put up a certain amount of appointments each day and then luck of the draw… I lucked out,” he told viewers. He also mentioned that his brother, a healthcare administrator, could’ve helped him skip the wait and get vaccinated sooner. “I don’t want to jump the line,” Roker said, standing in New York’s Lenox Hill hospital. “I wanna do this officially and above board.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 19, 2021
Before sitting down to be vaccinated, Roker asked Daniel Baker, M.D., the Lenox Hill medical director, a few questions about post-vaccination protocol and precautions. The doctor explained to him that yes, the vaccine is safe, and he should still wear a mask after receiving his first dose because it’ll be a while before the country achieves herd immunity safely.
Dr. Baker also encouraged everyone who is able to get vaccinated, rather than banking on herd immunity to protect them. “Herd immunity really comes at about 85 to 90%” he said. “[And] we’re gonna get that 10 to 15% by people who couldn’t get it because of a medical illness or something along those lines. So we all have to do our part.”
The shot itself was over within seconds. “Do I get a Hello Kitty Band-Aid?” Roker joked. To his dismay, the nurse placed a generic bandage on his arm. Roker will receive his second dose after 21 days.
The meteorologist shared his experience on Instagram, and many were excited by the news. “Way to go, Al!!! I watched it live. You did great,” one viewer commented. “As a healthcare worker, I cried tears of joy the day I got mine. This vaccine is such a sign of hope for us.”
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