(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult and lonely for those with high-risk health conditions, but for 100 people living in Northwest Missouri, they received their first shot at a normal life.
COVID-19 vaccinations are underway at St. Joseph's newest vaccination site at the former Gordmans at East Hills Shopping Center, a partnership between Mosaic Life Care and the city of St. Joseph. A new expedition that's already booked full for the first week.
“They’re so happy, so excited to be receiving their first vaccine,” said Dr. Davin Turner, Chief Medical Officer at Mosaic Life Care.
Those first in line Monday morning for the coronavirus vaccine have the most to lose, adults 65 and older and adults with high-risk health conditions.
“If I had as many needles sticking out of me as I have had stuck in me, I’d look like a porcupine,” said Byron Myers, COVID-19 vaccine recipient.
Byron Myers proudly received his first vaccine shot without hesitation. He's battling cancer.
“I’m on chemo treatment as we speak and that makes me very susceptible to the virus,“ said Myers, "Do I have any concerns? No! I trust people that are smarter than me.”
One of the first high-risk patients to take the vaccine Monday was Tim Ramsey. He is a two-time kidney transplant recipient, leaving him immunosuppressed and vulnerable to COVID-19.
“I’ve been pretty much either on what I feel like is witness protection or house arrest for the last year,” said Tim Ramsey, COVID-19 vaccine recipient.
Sandy Knox rolled up her sleeve. She's been isolating in her home since February after her TAVR procedure. Knox said staying away from friends and family has been the most challenging.
“It’s been long and it’s been lonely,” said Sandy Knox, COVID-19 vaccine recipient.
They've each had to stop life in it's trax- for their safety.
“Many of these folks have been locked down for the past 10-11 months and it really has negatively impacted their lives. By them being able to start the vaccine, it starts their journey back to normalcy,” said Dr. Turner.
Myers, Ramsey and Knox all echoed taking the simple things for granted like going to the grocery store or to dinner with family and friends. They're all counting down the days to normalcy, believing this vaccine is the beginning of the end.
“I got two nieces, one is nine, one is eleven. For some reason they still think I’m funny, so I’m looking forward to getting hugs from them and seeing them again,” said Ramsey.
Dr. Turner said Mosaic is expecting another shipment of the Moderna vaccine this week. Once shipments arrive, more appointments will open up for the following week.