SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAFF) - Helen Keller Hospital nurses and doctors lined up this morning to be the first to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Sheffield.
Hospital President Kyle Buchanan said this is a historic day. He called this is a step in the right direction for his staff.
But, he also had a word of warning.
Just because some frontline medical workers are being vaccinated now, doesn’t mean you can stop taking COVID-19 precautions.
He said his hospital is still filled with COVID-19 patients.
“So we are very much still in the throws of this pandemic. There will be several months before we see the effects of this vaccine so absolutely we still have to do things to keep our community safe by social distancing and masking because we are still very much in the middle of this pandemic,” said Buchanan.
Dr. Lynn Ridgeway was one of the first doctors to get the vaccine.
He has seen the devastation from COVID-19 first hand working as a pulmonary medicine doctor and in the COVID unit.
He said that getting the vaccine was painless.
He also hopes it sets an example for others and eases the mistrust and hesitancy when it comes to the vaccine.
“There is some reluctantly because this was developed so rapidly but the safety profile is excellent and I just want to encourage people to be comfortable so I’m willing to get in line and its the first real development that is going to kick this thing,” said Dr. Ridgeway.
It’s also important to remember, COVID-19 vaccines likely won’t be widely available to the general public until Spring or Summer according to health leaders.