NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Clinical Research Associates (CRA) on Church Street administered the first-known COVID-19 vaccine to a Nashville surgeon.

It happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday and was administered to 62-year-old Dr. William Polk. He is a cancer surgeon that was involved in the CRA clinical study for the Pfizer vaccine.

“Given the fact that I’m in a situation at my practice where I have a lot of patient exposure and the fact that I’m in not the highest risk group, but a pretty high risk group, I figured that it was worthwhile to get the vaccine,” Polk said.

This is the first time CRA has ever unblinded a study, but were given the authorization to do it Wednesday afternoon for the Pfizer dosage.

Polk said herd immunity is crucial right now as Tennessee hit the highest state for COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

“The risk of the vaccine, the little bit of discomfort, maybe a fever, that pales in comparison to the devastating effect that it can have on a real significant portion of people with the virus,” Polk said.

Polk will get his second dose in three weeks. He said he trusts the vaccine is the most effective treatment and looks forward to gaining immunity within the coming weeks.

“As far as healthcare professionals I don’t know a single physician that has a doubt about getting the vaccine,” Polk said. “I just think it’s something that once you’re presented with the opportunity to get the vaccine, you need to take the vaccine.”

CRA is now in the process of calling all 360 participants in the study to see if they work in healthcare or nursing homes. If they do not, they’ll get the vaccine in March.

CRA is also currently enrolling patients in the AstraZeneca vaccine study.