BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Take one for the team — and for yourself.
That was state Senator Brad Hoylman’s strong message to New Yorkers on Monday as Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine started to be shared with local frontline workers for the first time.
Hoylman already has taken the Pfizer vaccine. He also is the author of a bill (S.8182-A/A.10508-A) that authorized licensed pharmacists to administer an approved vaccine for COVID-19. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law in June.
“I’m proud to have been a participant in the clinical trial for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine,” Hoylman said. “As we move quickly toward widespread distribution and confront lingering doubts about safety, I hope my experience will give New Yorkers confidence. There were a few small temporary side effects from receiving the vaccine, comparable to a hangover, but it certainly beats getting COVID. I’ve had no issues since.”
Hoylman received his first coronavirus shot late this summer, followed by a second one three weeks later. Most of the current COVID vaccines require two rounds of shots. In October, Hoylman gave The Village Sun a report on his experience during the vaccine trial. As part of the trial, he will be monitored for two years.
“While we should be heartened by the first distribution of the vaccine to nontrial participants, we can’t let our guard down,” he said. “COVID rates are rising in New York and across the country again at a terrifying rate. Now is not the time to let up on social distancing. If anything, with the promise of a vaccination within months, we have new incentive to take precautions that will keep our fellow New Yorkers safe in the meantime.”
Frontline healthcare workers and staff and residents at nursing homes will be among the first to get the shots.
However, according to polls, many Americans are leery of taking the COVID vaccine, which was rushed through the approval process under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. It’s been reported that a large percentage of New York City first responders, including firefighters and E.M.T.s, as well as transit workers, don’t want to take the shots, fearing they will be guinea pigs. The Federal Drug Administration, though, has O.K.’d emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine.
In August, Hoylman began participating in a phase-three clinical trial for a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19 through the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, under the auspices of N.Y.U. Langone Health’s Vaccine Center. N.Y.U. Langone Health’s Vaccine Center will be conducting several COVID-19 vaccine trials in conjunction with the national COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN).