First Person to Get COVID Vaccine in NC says it’s Less Painful than a Flu Shot

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – New hope in the fight against COVID-19, as the first people in Charlotte get vaccinated against the deadly virus.

The first vaccine administered in the state was given to a doctor at Carolinas Medical Center.

“It was less painful than the flu shot I got this year. I have no bruising. I didn’t bleed at all,” explains Dr. Katie Passaretti, an infectious disease specialist at Atrium Health.

She got her first dose shortly after the Pfizer vaccine arrived at Carolinas Medical Center on Monday morning.

“I have minimal pain, kind of in the muscle. It’s really, I feel blessed that it was such a good experience,” she explains.

The first vaccinations are something the hospital has practiced for over the past several months.

“This is the Super Bowl for us,” says Dr. Gary Little, with Atrium Health.

“We did not receive sort of the full shipment that we were allocated but a small portion of that, and so our goal is to get that out to our people as quickly as we can,” he says.

So how does Atrium determine which frontline workers get the vaccine?

“Based primarily on whether they’re likely to encounter patients with COVID or they’re taking acre of high risk populations,” Dr. Little says.

And how soon could other high risk groups get the vaccine, including those with medical conditions and people over 65?

“My best guess, moving on to group 1b and completely a guess, probably sometime around February,” he says.

Passaretti says she’s optimistic about a positive future.

“What made me emotional is the impact on other people. Cause that’s what haunted me throughout this pandemic, the patients, the families, the healthcare workers who become ill,” she says.