LANSING, Mich. — Energy was high at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing today as the first health care workers received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Abigail Wheeler, a nurse in the Sparrow COVID unit, was the first to receive it.
"This is a huge win for us. We're all here to support each other. And because we want the pandemic to end so we're all excited," Wheeler said.
Damlia Beard is a registered nurse in the emergency unit at Sparrow and has worked closely with many COVID patients. She said getting the vaccine meant a lot for her.
"It really is personal because I'm so tired of the whole pandemic. I'm hoping that the vaccine means we can go back to a normal life, you know, at some point," Beard said.
Wheeler and Beard were among the 6 health care workers to receive the vaccine at Sparrow Thursday. After each shot, hospital staff and onlookers burst into applause.
Frontline health care workers at McLaren Greater Lansing also received the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
“Our health care heroes have been courageously battling each wave of this virus for nearly a year,” Dr. Linda Peterson, McLaren Greater Lansing chief medical officer, said in a statement released by the hospital. “Now it is time we take the final fight to COVID-19.”
Frontline workers in Michigan began receiving vaccinations on Monday. Marc McClelland, a 46-year-old pulmonary and critical care physician at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids, was one of the first. Vaccinations also were carried out at Michigan Medical in Ann Arbor.
They came as the state reported 7,205 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and 90 deaths Sunday and Monday.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Distribution to hospitals began over the weekend.
McLaren Greater Lansing received 975 initial doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and is expecting to receive additional quantities over the next few weeks, including from other vaccine producers.
“I’m honored to be receiving the vaccine,” Dawn Chapel, a nurse in the ICU at McLaren Greater Lansing, said in a statement. “I’m extremely hopeful for the future and very excited. This feels like a light coming from the darkness.”
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