LAYTON, Utah — You know what they say: The couple that vaccinates together, stays together.
A pair of married Utah doctors received the new Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week, with each jabbing the other with the needle.
David and Laurel Fedor are doctors based out of Layton Hospital, and as vital health care workers found themselves at the front of the line to receive the vaccine. However, giving it to each other started as a joke.
"When I said we were coming to do it, first they said I needed to bring in dessert and then they also said we needed to give shots to each other," said Laurel, a hospitalist.
"It was a very festive and happy mood at a vaccine clinic for Intermountain caregivers," laughed intensivist David. "That was neat."
The Fedors were among the first in Utah to receive the Moderna variety of the vaccine. The married physicians know they must continue to keep up their guard, but are excited to move into a new chapter in treating others while COVID-19 continues to ravage the country.
"Today, I just feel little bit of relief," says Laurel. "It's not a final solution. The pandemic's not over, but to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and to be able to walk towards that light is reassuring."
Laurel and David have seen their share of suffering throughout the pandemic, but the human angle has been tough to handle on a daily basis.
"The only patients I see are ICU patients and a lot of them are there without family being able to visit, and that is difficult," David says. "That's not normal. It's not what we're used to and that's been difficult to see."
"I see people when they come into the emergency department and admitting them upstairs; and normally there's that family member there that's supporting them, caring for them, assisting with their story, and they don't have that. I think it's made it harder for patients." said Laurel.
If all goes according to plan, the majority of those who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will have access to one by the summer, meaning the 2021 holidays could be a more festive time to enjoy family and put the pandemic behind us.
"A year from now I hope we have understanding and I hope that it becomes, I don't want to say 'normal,' but something that is not scary and overwhelming." said David.
In addition to everything else, vaccinating each other was the perfect Christmas gifts for the Fedors.
"It was special. Meaningful," Laurel shared. "To be able to protect each other, protect our community together."
"Plus," added David, "she got to stab me with a needle, so I'm sure that was fun!"