‘This is a safe vaccine’: Metro doctor urges Georgians to get COVID-19 vaccine

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — From social media to gossip around the office, one metro doctor said there has been way too much misinformation and false claims out there about the COVID-19 vaccines. He feels it’s his duty to let Georgians know that the vaccines are safe and effective.

Dr. James Yost is the chief medical officer of Peachtree Immediate Care. He shared a video with Channel 2 Action News of him getting the Pfizer vaccine inside the Gwinnett County Health Department on Monday.

“What was that moment like for you?” Channel 2′s Michael Seiden asked Yost.

“It was great. It was a very surreal moment for me knowing that in my mind that this is one of the biggest steps toward the end of this thing or at least toward getting immunity where we can achieve that 50, 60, 70 percent herd immunity to finally squash this thing out,” Yost said. “It was like getting a flu shot. It was a little pinch in the arm. No side effect. No symptoms afterwards.”

Yost is one of more than 500,000 health care workers in Georgia eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I was very proud to get the vaccine. I was very excited to get it. I wanted to show a lot of my staff that’s it’s OK to get it and a lot of my family members and as well as my community,” Yost said.

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He told Seiden he wanted to record this moment to show other Georgians who remain skeptical about getting it.

“I think it’s important to get the message out that this is a safe vaccine. It’s worth taking, and it’s a very important step to take,” Yost said.

But despite getting his first dose, Yost said continuing to practice the safety measures is important.

“This vaccine isn’t a one-shot and done. It’s a two-shot series over the course of three to four weeks, and then it’s going to take two weeks beyond that vaccinated dose to get that 94%, 95% immunity,” Yost said. “You should continue to do all the safety measures that are in place. Social distance, wear your mask, limit your gatherings.”

Yost said serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle has been difficult for him and his family.

“I have to keep my distance, limit my interaction with my children,” he told Seiden.

Yost is now looking forward to getting his second dose and spending more time with his children.

As of right now, vaccine shots are being limited to health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities.

Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey recently said it will be at least a month before the next group of Georgians is vaccinated.

That group includes the elderly living alone at home and police officers.