Seeking To Lead By Example, Mayor Kramer Gets COVID-19 Vaccine

Mayor Phil Kramer receives the first of two Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations from Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center R.N. Catherine Urban.

Mayor Phil Kramer is not a big fan of receiving inoculations … until now.

The Mayor, himself a physician, said he was eagerly anticipating his chance to begin the vaccination process for COVID-19.

So it came to pass that on the morning of January 4, Kramer showed up at the Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy to receive the first of two of the Moderna vaccinations.

“With the flu shot, usually my colleagues have to drag me there, because I just hate the thought of a needle going in my arm,” Kramer said. “But I was eager, and I will do whatever I can to get this shot.”

Kramer said that he wanted to get his vaccination publicly because, “I want everyone to know that I think it’s safe, that it’s important to get and this is how we’re gong to climb out of this.”

See the Live Stream of Mayor Kramer receiving his vaccination here.

There are two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval by the federal Food and Drug Administration, those by Pfizer and Moderna. Both vaccines require two doses for maximum immunity: the Pfizer vaccine requires a second shot 21 days after the first, while the lag time for the Moderna vaccine is 28 days.

Kramer said he was initially hoping to get the Pfizer vaccine because he was hoping to get full immunity faster.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s what you can get,” he said.

“I encourage everyone to get it as long as they don’t have the contraindications, such as severe allergic reactions,” Kramer said. “It’s important that we get this, it’s important that we move our country forward this way.”

Kramer noted that there is “no way” to get the coronavirus from the vaccination.

“I understand if you were nervous to be … one of the first people to get it, but now millions of people have gotten it,” he said. “Now 4 million Americans that have received it, there have been some allergic reactions, but in general it is going extremely well.”

Kramer said he is not letting his guard down, even after he gets the second dose of the vaccine.

“I will still be wearing a mask, I will still be social distancing, even after I get the second shot,” he said. “We don’t know that the vaccine prevents you from passing it on to other people. We know that it protects you, we don’t know that it protects other people.”

Kramer was among the first group to get the vaccine because he is a health care provider. Vaccinations for the general public should be available sometime this Spring or Summer, state health officials have said.

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