WASHINGTON — A D.C. doctor is taking efforts to ease fears around taking the COVID-19 vaccine a step further.
Dr. Michael Knight not only made getting his shot public, but he has been documenting his experience in the days after taking the vaccine on social media.
“It’s my job as a healthcare professional to help you understand the facts,” he said.
Dr. Knight, an associate professor at The George Washington University, took the Pfizer vaccine. He immediately began posting a picture and videos on Instagram telling his followers about some of his symptoms and how long they lasted.
Dr. Knight reported having body aches, headaches, and fatigue in the first couple of days after taking the vaccine but explained those symptoms quickly went away.
“I’d just gotten so many questions from people – from my friends, family members, people who are in healthcare – educated who are very scared,” he said.
Dr. Knight took those fears and questions and tried to help break them down in a way that is easily digestible for the everyday person.
“The COVID-19 vaccine does not have any viral particles in it,” he explained. “What it does is it gives your body – your cells basically a recipe to make a protein that is similar to the protein that is found in the COVID-19 virus. When your body’s immune system sees that protein, it makes antibodies almost like soldiers that will attack that protein.”
Dr. Knight said once a person is fully immunized, those "soldiers" can fight off the coronavirus if it comes in contact with the body.
Dr. Knight told WUSA9 that as a Black doctor and a member of the African-American community, he knows the weight that he's speaking out about and his experience with the vaccine holds.
He pointed to centuries of medical institutions violating Black people’s trust.
“I want to be able to show that I know the science, I understand why you feel hesitant. So, let me be an example for you. Let me be your guinea pig. I’ll take it. Learn from me. Learn from my experience, but also learn from the science,” Dr. Knight said.
He added that it is important for people to see people who look like them and who come from a similar background in the medical world to talk about and validate their concerns, so they do not miss out on – what he calls – an amazing medical breakthrough.