TODAY weatherman Al Roker received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine live on TODAY Tuesday, after lucking into an appointment through New York's busy online booking system.
Roker qualified to get the vaccine in New York because he's over 65 years old.
On Tuesday's show, he explained that he kept logging into the New York State Department of Health website over the weekend, and he finally snagged an appointment at Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital.
Lenox Hill made 300 available on Sunday morning, and they were all claimed within 10 minutes.
"I kept hitting refresh, refresh, refresh on the browser and finally got in. ... Luck of the draw," he said.
Before getting his injection, Al asked Lenox Hill medical director Dr. Daniel Baker whether the vaccine was safe.
"The clinical trials really showed its efficacy," Baker said. "We've seen hundreds of thousands of doses since and everybody's doing rather quite well."
Baker also stressed that even after someone has received the second dose of the vaccine, they should continue to wear a mask. (Both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines, the only vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug administration, require two doses, 21 and 28 days apart respectively.)
"That's actually a key component of keeping us all safe," Baker said. It will be a long time before enough people are vaccinated that the public can relax mask-wearing protocols, he added.
Baker also said it was unclear whether someone who has been vaccinated can spread the virus without showing symptoms, but he's "hopeful" that it's not the case.
"As with most diseases, when you get some immunity, we're hoping you wouldn't then be able to then transmit it," he explained. "We'll have a little bit more information coming."
Baker also stressed that people should not rely on the public achieving herd immunity from the virus.
"Herd immunity really comes at about 85-90%, and the only way to get there is if everybody goes for the vaccine," he said. "We're going to get that 10-15% by people who couldn't get it because of a medical illness or something along those lines, so we all have to do our part."
When Al asked what he side effects he should expect, Baker said he'll likely have soreness in his arm, similar to a flu shot, but that he'll be "up and on the TODAY show tomorrow morning no problem."
Callard administered the vaccine with a quick jab to Al's deltoid in his upper arm.
One TODAY co-host wondered if that was the best place for it.
"I was going to ask ... if the shot is more effective in the rear end?" Carson Daly asked.
"That answer is no," Baker replied.