Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the first members of New York City's congressional caucus to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, turning her experience into a public service announcement on the benefits of getting the vaccine.
The Bronx/Queens pol representing the 14th Congressional District chronicled her experience on Instagram the moment she was heading down to receive the shot at Capitol Hill.
On her Instagram story feed, the social media maven—who has 8.5 million followers on Instagram and 10.9 million followers on Twitter—is seen with her right sleeve rolled up as a technician administers the vaccine produced by Pfizer, which was authorized for emergency use by the FDA last week.
"That actually didn't really hurt at all. For me, I got the Pfizer vaccine. The tetanus shot has hurt more, my flu shot has hurt more, this was actually pretty low," AOC said.
AOC later explained that she and other members of Congress were lumped in the first grouping of people to receive the shot as a way of maintaining "continuity of governance," especially during an emergency such as a pandemic.
"I was actually surprised by this, too, I was expecting we're going to get it a lot later," AOC said.
The vaccine was made available to members of Congress on Friday and Vice President Mike Pence, who also took the shot at a news conference. It was the only shot available to members of Congress as the Moderna vaccine was approved for emergency use late that day. AOC was the only member of New York's congressional caucus to publicly show she received the shot so far.
AOC has shown to be a bit of a science nerd. In 2007, she won a prize in microbiology at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her heady high school project on Caenorhabditis elegan (C. elegan) lifespan extension, with her findings indicating that “antioxidants could potentially help prevent degenerative illnesses induced by oxidative stress.”
Her passion for science gave her the chance to geek out during the Q&A portion on her experience getting the vaccine, urging pregnant women to consult with their doctor, avoid mixing the Pfizer and Moderna shot together, and recognizing that side effects can be common.
AOC also noted that anyone who gets the vaccine will get a card.
"Just take a photo of your vaccine card as soon as you get it so that you remember what day you got it and all that other stuff. Snap a photo," AOC said.
A day after AOC received the shot, her Democratic colleague, Bronx/Manhattan Representative Adriano Espaillat, received his shot.