EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Frontline workers at INTEGRIS Health Edmond received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Hospital officials began administering the vaccine to its staff on Tuesday.
Aamir Mohammad, M.D., who oversees the hospitalist program and has worked “basically non-stop” over the past few months, received the vaccine, according to an INTEGRIS news release.
“This has been a long time coming,” Mohammad said. “Vaccination is a game changer. I feel confident this will turn the tide and look forward to the day in the near future when the vaccine is available to the entire community.”
Nearly 300 INTEGRIS Health Edmond workers have received the vaccine, according to Jon Rule, Chief Hospital Executive.
“The past nine months have been extremely challenging, but our caregivers have responded heroically to this pandemic,” Rule said. “It seems appropriate that the first glimpse of hope for our caregivers – an end to the pandemic – would arrive during this blessed holiday season. Our hospital is full, and we know we have a great deal of work ahead of us, but we are optimistic for the future.”
Alexis Long, a nurse in the hospital’s intensive care unit, also received the vaccine. She said she hopes others will choose to take the vaccine once it is available to them.
“My mask really does hide the hope and gratitude I am feeling today,” Long said. “I am so lucky to be one of the first to receive this vaccine and I am so grateful for all of the medical specialists and scientists who have made this vaccine possible. We still have a long way to go but there is finally light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.”
Dr. Lance Frye, interim commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said earlier this week that the initial delivery of the Pfizer vaccine included 39,975 doses for distribution across the state.
Oklahoma began receiving shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
“That included 33,150 doses to five hospitals in our state, including 1,950 doses here at Comanche Memorial and 6,825 doses through federal allocations to our VA and tribal partners,” Frye said.
Oklahoma can potentially receive 166,000 total doses of the vaccine by the end of the month.
The vaccine’s impact against the COVID-19 pandemic will not truly be evident until several months have passed and a majority of Oklahomans have taken the vaccine, according to the news release.
“In the meantime, we need to continue to wear masks, wash our hands and watch our distance from others,” the news release states.
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