Home » Business » 'Our first glimmer of hope': Healthcare workers reflect on a devastating year and a brighter future as they get the first COVID-19 shots
'Our first glimmer of hope': Healthcare workers reflect on a devastating year and a brighter future as they get the first COVID-19 shots
Frontline healthcare workers from seven of TriStar Health's hospitals in middle Tennessee received some of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the state on Thursday.
Healthcare workers who got shots said they were excited, relieved, and hopeful that the availability of COVID-19 vaccines spelled the end of the pandemic.
TriStar, which is part of big hospital chain HCA Healthcare, received 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday and gave out 550 doses.
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Hundreds of frontline nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers from Tennessee health system TriStar Health filed into an HCA Healthcare building in Nashville on Thursday to receive some of the first COVID-19 shots.
For the workers, the injections marked the beginning of the end of to a pandemic that's pushed them and their hospitals to the breaking point as beds filled with sick patients. As nurses—clad in face shields and masks and sequestered in cubicles—gave the shots, healthcare workers took selfies to mark the occasion.
"This is a historic moment for all of us," Dr. Prakash Patel, a pulmonologist who works in the ICU at TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, told Business Insider while waiting to get his shot. "I believe it's the beginning of the end of the pandemic."
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration cleared Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. The first shipments of those vaccines were delivered this week to hospitals around the country.
The arrival of the first COVID-19 shots spelled hope for healthcare workers
A second vaccine is on the way, after the FDA cleared Moderna's vaccine on Friday. The federal government plans to ship 5.9 million doses of Moderna's vaccine within a week.
TriStar, which is part of for-profit hospital chain HCA Healthcare, received 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and gave out 550 shots on Thursday. For healthcare workers, the arrival of the vaccines spelled hope.
Salomey Agyemang, a critical care nurse at Southern Hills Medical Center was one of the first on Thursday to get a shot. She said it felt like a "huge relief" after a year of witnessing her patients die alone, when the risk of COVID-19 exposure kept family members out of the hospital.
"It's just hard," she said. "It's hard on the heart."