FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The nation's most aggressive mass vaccination campaign is underway. Womack Army Medical Center nurse Roni Paul made history as one of the first people to be vaccinated. He reported side effects within 24 hours.
"Really mild muscle aches, low grade fever and fatigue. You know after a long days work you're tired and ready to go to bed? That's how I felt," said Paul.
He anticipated mild side effects and took Tylenol and Motrin before the vaccine.
The 47-year-old was vaccinated Tuesday. He took Wednesday off and returned to work with no side effects by Thursday.
"You know, I see first-hand the symptoms of COVID. I see patients come in who can't catch a breath. It's so sad to see that. Of course in the back of my mind I think is that a possibility for me? Absolutely," said Paul.
He is a veteran turned civilian worker who is now employed at Womack Army Medical Center as an emergency room nurse and nurse educator. His television debut created quite the stir among family, friends and former students.
"They're all really nervous like everyone is to take this immunization. I think if we as healthcare workers continue going to the forefront and showing them that 'hey, we did it and aren't scared,' it's going to be a win-win for all of us," said Paul.
As an Indian American, Paul understands why people are skeptical given the dark history of medicine in this country, but thinks everyone should get on board with this one.
"I think it'll take education and time for people to trust the vaccine," said Paul.