(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Tuesday, history was made at Mosaic Life Care as frontline caregivers received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine going from boxes straight into the arms of health care workers. 40 caregivers sat down and received the immunization with a sense of enthusiasm- not the typical feeling associated with getting a shot.
“I was really honored that they asked me to be one of the first people. If someone is scared to get the vaccine let me go first because I’m not scared and I want things to get better,” said Jennie Smith, ICU nurse at Mosaic Life Care.
Nurses at the hospital were the first in line to take the vaccine, a weapon to fight against the deadly virus they have to battle everyday.
“Uh it’s been so sad and like, getting through conversations like this is super hard. The amount of people I’ve had to hold their hand and comfort them while also try not to count with them has been more than I count. The amount of families I’ve seen broken up over this is more than I’ve seen in my whole career,” said Smith.
ICU nurse, Aryn Fidler, was one of the first two caregivers to receive the vaccine at the hospital. She said she decided to get vaccinated to start the beginning of the end to a terrible year.
“I want things to get back to normal. I don’t want to watch anymore people die. I’m an ICU nurse. I see horrible, horrible things happen to wonderful, perfectly healthy people. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of it,” said Aryn Fidler, ICU nurse at Mosaic Life Care.
All immunized hospital staff interviewed said the vaccine hurt less than the seasonal flu shot.
After environmental service workers received their vaccine, Mosaic's top health officials rolled up their sleeves and took the shot-sitting next to each other in solidarity.
“I believe this vaccine is safe and that’s why I wanted to sit there and show people that it’s safe,“ said Dr. Davin Turner, Mosaic Life Care's Chief Medical Officer.
That hard belief stance moved one supply runner to get himself vaccinated.
“At first, I was apprehensive. But I figured if Dr. Kammerer was going to get it and Dr. Laney then Mike Morgan was gonna get it too,” said Mike Morgan, runner for Mosaic Life Care.
The COVID-19 vaccines arrives at the hospital at a time when the virus has taken 121 lives in Buchanan County, over 5,000 in Missouri and well over 300,000 in the U.S. Frontline caregivers at Mosaic believe this vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.
“This is how the country gets back to some semblance of normalcy. COVID will change our world to some degree, but it doesn’t have the right to control us. We need to control it,” said Dr. Turner.
Those receiving the Pfizer vaccine will need a booster shot in three weeks.
Mosaic plans to vaccinate 200 more caregivers Wednesday.