JONESBORO, Ark. — History was made in the Mid-South around 3 p.m. on Monday, when the first healthcare workers received their COVID-19 vaccination in Northeastern Arkansas.
Less than six hours after Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the Pfizer vaccine was in Arkansas, it’s now in the arms of the healthcare workers that have been front and center during this pandemic.
And it couldn’t have come sooner.
It a round of applause and sigh of relief for the healthcare professionals at NEA Baptist in Jonesboro, as they received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
“Just pretty much a routine needle stick,” Dr. Steven Stroud, an Infectious Disease Expert, said.
Stroud was the first of the 10-15 people in the hospital to receive it. He says he’s seen a lot of suffering due to covid and hopes this vaccine means the beginning of the end.
“My sincere hope is that with a vaccine, with an effective vaccine, with a safe vaccine, that this will start to turn the corner,” Stroud said.
The hospital says it received 975 doses and will be administering them rapidly. Doctors say the timing was crucial as Thanksgiving numbers point to dark days ahead.
“It’s just in time. In fact I hope it’s just in time. I think we will lose a lot of people just because of the spike that we have seen recently and we’re about to see because of the thanksgiving holiday. It’s a crucial time and we hope a lot of people will be protected,” Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, an Infectious Disease Specialist, said.
Which is why these healthcare workers made the decision to be vaccinated and hope it encourages others to do the same.
“I think it’s important that everyone gets the vaccine. I think it’s our civic duty to get the vaccine and protect ourselves and the ones we love around us,” Dr. Aaron Winterstern, of NEA Baptist Hospital, said.
The vaccine also arrived in Tennessee on Monday. Hospitals say they plan to receive it administer it in the next couple of days.
Keep in mind this is the first of two doses needed to develop the necessary immunity to COVID-19.
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