BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Front-line healthcare workers at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful were among the first in Utah to receive the recently approved Moderna vaccine Monday morning.
"We've been waiting for this for a long time," said ICU nurse Liz Barnes. "We're just super excited to get it done."
The hospital received 500 doses of the vaccine. Lakeview CEO Troy Wood said it was a great boost for his team, who've been battling COVID-19 for nine months.
"It's a sense of accomplishment," Wood said. "But mostly a sense that our future is going to look bright."
The hospital plans to first vaccinate ICU nurses and doctors, as well as other front-line workers through Wednesday.
"Once we've disseminated 60-percent of those, then we can apply for the second shipment," Wood added.
Jacci Kennedy, director of critical care at Lakeview, said it will help her team give the highest quality of care possible as they continue to treat an influx of patients.
"I think it's just going to give everybody the confidence that we can continue to do our job," she said. "And we can continue for our community not only safely, but effectively."
With some doubt circulating in the community regarding the two COVID-19 vaccines, nurses said research is key.
"Do your research," Barnes said. "Look at the science, and the science is there. I was all for it after doing all my research."
Once the hospital is able to vaccinate all 600 of their employees, they will begin to distribute doses to community physicians.
"Today is a very important day," Wood said. "It sets the pattern for the next year. These are the folks who need the vaccine first. I can go second, others can go second, we can go a little bit further down the road. These people who are taking care of our loved ones and our community they get it."
Wood added that although Monday is an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19, the community needs to remain diligent with wearing masks and social distancing until vaccines become more widely available.