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First COVID-19 vaccines in Utah given to hospital workers

Posted at 11:48 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 00:37:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY — On Tuesday, more than 100 healthcare workers received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in Utah.

Christy Mulder, the first, took time out of her busy shift at University of Utah intensive care unit to get the vaccine.

“It feels like a weight has been lifted off,” she said.

The last few weeks have been extremely tough for healthcare workers helping a record number of hospitalized patients. Referral ICU capacity reached over 100 percent.

READ: Utah health care workers prepare to be some of the first to get COVID-19 vaccine

“We are tired. We are drained. We are emotionally and physically drained. So to have a day like this is really encouraging it does feel like a weight lifted off,” said Mulder.

At Intermountain Healthcare, more than 90 nurses, doctors and environmental services staffers rolled up their sleeves at LDS Hospital.

“I’m super excited to get the vaccination and to be able to protect myself, protect my family and protect the people that I care about,” ICU nurse Monte Roberts said.

READ: Debunking COVID-19 vaccine myths

Nearly a year after learning about the virus, Utah's state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn celebrated the milestone.

"This is a huge momentous day that gives me such joy and pride,” Dr. Dunn said.

Yet, she warns against letting down our guard.

READ: Utah doctors say to continue precautions despite vaccine's arrival

“This vaccine does not mean that we can all get together now and all go party and have large gatherings. That is not going to come until the fall, September 2021,” Dr. Dunn estimated.

Dr. Dunn said it will take at least 50 percent of adults receiving the vaccine to make a difference in the COVID-19 transmission; it will take 70 to 80 percent to control the virus.