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A day in the life of a Utah healthcare worker helping to vaccinate thousands

Posted at 3:44 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 19:40:29-05

SALT LAKE CITY — As thousands continue to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Utah, Healthcare workers are working around the clock to make it happen.

At the Mountain America Expo Center, dozens of people work to provide a seamless vaccination experience.

Ironically, in what has become Salt Lake Counties largest vaccination site, the center was first designated as an emergency hospital if the hospital system was overrun.

In the early stages of the pandemic, beds were sprawled across the floor of Mountain America to prepare for potential hospital overflow.

Read: Utah prepares Mountain America Expo Center for hospital overflow

Utah's hospitals were never pushed to the point of needing the facility and now it is used as a place for people to receive their COVID-19 vaccine and “get their lives back," according to staff members at the center.

Seth Christensen, an R.N. is one of those leading vaccination efforts at the site.

“If we do 3000 vaccines here a day that's 3000 more people that will be protected” he said explaining that as other sites do the same Utahn's will be able to get vaccinated faster that anyone thought.

Read: Governor plans to open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adult Utah residents April 1

His morning starts at 9 a.m. by prepping vaccines and preparing syringes.

Then he moves to a morning briefing with all those involved in vaccination efforts.

“We start all our huddles with needle safety,” he said - and then move from topic to topic going over in detail everything that anyone could face.

Then it's a race to prep everything before vaccine appointments that begin at 10 a.m.

From filling and vaccines and giving the shots, its reset and repeat for 3,000 people from the beginning to the end of the day.

Read: Utah sees high vaccination rate for seniors

While its a long day, Christensen says it's rewarding work for him because those who get the vaccine feel like they have their life back.

“I have lots of patients that I've seen come through and after receiving their first dose that they are bawling…” He said. “They are not sad but it's just so overwhelming to know all of this just culminates in one little poke in their life is changed again to go back to normal”