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Kentucky hospitals begin vaccinating frontline workers against COVID-19

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 5:11 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - By the end of Tuesday, two Lexington hospitals will have started vaccinating some of their frontline workers against COVID-19.

Governor Andy Beshear was there as a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine was delivered to the University of Louisville Hospital Monday morning.

The governor said we still need to take precautions until it’s is widely distributed.

“That will be the beginning of the end. Still have a lot of work to do, a lot of lives we’re gonna have to save. Going to have to follow the rules and restrictions in place until enough people get vaccinated,” Gov. Beshear said. “But, today is the day we start winning the war against COVID.”

Frontline healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities are the first to be vaccinated. The chief medical officer at UofL said he volunteered to go first to show how safe it was.

In Lexingon, Baptist Health Lexington received 975 doses of the vaccine Monday.

“It’s been a really hard and difficult nine months for the country,” Baptist Health Lexington Director of Pharmacy Mike Anderson said. “Up to this point, largely we’ve been playing defense against COVID-19, but today I think represents the opportunity to turn the table and play offense.”

Officials said they used Monday as a trial day, preparing just one vial of the vaccine to vaccinate five frontline healthcare workers.

Baptist Health Lexington nurse Joy Murphy told us she found out she was getting the vaccine Monday morning. She says the last few months have been hard.

“Most of the time I want to cry. Because we lose someone every day,” Murphy said. “But I’m ecstatic that this vaccine is coming out because I sure hope people really will embrace this.”

She echoed the governor’s words, that the vaccine does give her hope, but we still need to be careful

“I would hope that everybody would realize that this is real. I can assure them it’s real,” Murphy said. “If they would just wear their mask and do the things they are telling you on TV to do, just please do that. Because we’re getting exhausted and it’s very sad in here.”

Officials at Baptist Health Lexington said Thursday they will begin working all hands on deck to get as many healthcare workers vaccinated as quickly as possible.

“Because I work directly with the COVID patients, I’m older, I’m on chemo, and I have seen the devastating effects that covid can do to the young and the old, I’m ecstatic,” one registered nurse at Baptist Health Lexington said.

UK HealthCare tells us they will begin vaccinating their frontline workers Tuesday afternoon.

The Pfizer vaccine does require a booster, so they’ll need to get another dose in 21 days.

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