The first of more than 900 individuals received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week at Baptist Health Madisonville.

Margo Ashby, pharmacy director at the hospital, said 926 doses were administered.

“Based on the number of first doses we have, we are going to give out the same number of second doses,” she said.

Ashby said they were given permission to give out six doses from each vial, instead of the original five doses on Wednesday when the first 12 people who received the initial dose were administered the followup shot. On Thursday, 119 received the second dose of the vaccine.

One of those first recipients was Dr. Andy Logan, an ear, nose and throat physician. Logan said after getting the first shot he had a sore arm for about half a day and some mild flu-like symptoms for about a day, but no other symptoms afterwards.

“That is a sign of the vaccine working,” said Logan, who explained the symptoms mean the immune system is responding to the vaccine and doing what it is supposed be doing, fighting the virus.

“You got the appropriate reaction to the vaccine,” said Logan.

Logan said the shot was not painful, but individuals should expect to be a little sore. He said getting the shot is no worse than getting the flu shot.

Logan said he has heard people say they are worried about getting the vaccine because they felt it was rushed. He said the companies did not skimp on testing, but started producing the vaccine the same time they did the testing, hoping that it would work and they could immediately get it out to the public.

“Normally, they would do all the tests, then it would take another six months to a year to make enough to get out to the public,” said Logan. “They basically said we are going to start mass producing it and hopefully it works. When they found out that it did in fact work, it was ready to go.”

Logan called the vaccine safe and said people should be more scared of getting COVID-19 than the vaccine. He encouraged everyone to get the vaccination when it becomes available, not just for their own good, but for the good of the community.

Elizabeth Woodruff, a materials manager at the hospital, said she got the vaccine to protect her patients, herself and her family. She said when she got the first dose, she felt a normal soreness around the injection site the next day, like she gets from the flu shot.

“If you are willing to get a flu shot and protect yourself from the flu, then why not the COVID vaccine,” she said.

The worst thing people could do is nothing, she said.

Ann Barnes, RN, who has been helping administer the shots, said when it comes to the vaccine there are a lot of pros and cons, but if you follow science, the vaccine is the best way to stop the pandemic.

“At one time, everything has been new if you look back in history,” she said.