Clad in a mask, he shared a series of videos taking followers through the process. He captioned the first, “Step 1: Sign up (When you are allowed).” He then went on to sign for consent and get the vaccine.
“Step 4: Be monitored for 15-20 minutes,” he wrote, “Tylenol for any injection site pain [and] treats for being so vewy bwave!!”
Park, a contestant on season 16 of The Bachelorette, is among the first round of vaccine recipients. He is currently based in New York City as an anesthesiologist.
The day after receiving the vaccine, he shared an update saying he had some pain around the injection and a bit of fatigue but was otherwise normal. As he clarified “I’ve not grown a tail and my skin hasn’t turned blue.”
Park promised to update his followers at various intervals about any potential short- or long-term side effects.
Park Discussed the Vaccine in an Instagram Video
Park broke down the facts, stats and myths about the COVID-19 vaccine in a video on Instagram, noting he had “no financial stake in any of the companies.”
The two companies he discussed were Pfizer and Moderna whose vaccines have had the best results.
“In fact, the Pfizer vaccine was so successful in its trial that the FDA granted it emergency use authorization on December 11, which means for some, they’ll be getting the vaccine very soon,” said Park.
These vaccines fall under the mRNA class. “Within the cell, think of mRNA as a blueprint,” explained Park. “That blueprint then gets sent to our cells’ construction team which then constructs a building based on that blueprint.”
In the case of the coronavirus vaccine, instead of a building, the cells build the “spike proteins” that are “bound on the outside of the coronavirus.”
“That spike protein is then sent to the outside of the cell where it is recognized by our immune system as foreign and then we’re able to mount antivirus response thereby getting immunity without ever actually having had a full-blown COVID infection,” revealed Park.
He wanted to debunk the myth the vaccine gives its recipients the coronavirus, saying, “Again, it only codes for the small spike protein and not the other viral components hence in no way can you get COVID from this vaccine.”
While he goes into detail about its safety, he did note individuals with allergies should be monitored and have an EpiPen on hand as a precaution.
He ended the video, saying, “Make no mistake, this is a huge step forward and us getting vaccinated could mean restaurants reopen, travel becomes normal again and we can start getting back to the life we once knew.”
Park Contracted and Recovered From COVID-19 Earlier in the Year
Working in healthcare, Park has spent much of his time facing the realities of COVID-19. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he revealed he had actually contracted the virus earlier in the year.
“I would go to work, and it was obviously a very harrowing time in my life and in the lives of thousands, if not millions of other people, especially in New York City,” revealed Park. “Seeing so many people pass away during that time, it definitely gave me an appreciation for [life’s] moments. I had COVID and I recovered from it. And I was thankful for that because I saw plenty of people in their 40s and a couple in their 30s who didn’t do as well. My family was okay for the most part, and I was just so grateful.”
After the serious realities of the situation, it made the dating franchise a more enticing option.
“So when I was able to go do the show, and just to be able to go to the desert and pursue love without masks, without seeing people around me sick in this war zone that the hospital was… [In New York], everyone was scared, and we saw the refrigerator trucks [for the bodies] outside,” he said. “I mean, I don’t want to paint this like super-bleak picture, but that’s what it was. And so when I got to the show, it was like, man, this is such a beautiful thing to be out here. I was just grateful, you know?”