SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tuesday the first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.
It’s a day so many have been waiting for and the health care system didn’t waste any time in getting some of its frontline workers to roll up their sleeves.
It’s the shot heard around the world; the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Jody Huber, a pediatric intensive care specialist, was the first frontline worker at Sanford Health to receive the vaccination.
“It’s a great feeling in my world of pediatric critical care, amongst the physicians, nurses, respiratory therapist this is what we’ve been waiting for,” Dr. Huber said.
Sanford Health is also one of the first locations in the country to vaccinate long-term care workers at its three Good Samaritan Society locations and two nursing homes.
“Long term care of all settings, over the last 9 months or so, have really been pressed down, I think we are looking forward to some hugs and getting families eventually back in buildings, but we know that’s not going to happen overnight,” Dr. Gregory Johnson of the Good Samaritan Society said.
Sanford Health has secured 3,900 doses in South Dakota for the first week.
But more doses are scheduled to be delivered each week.
The state of South Dakota has set guidelines that prioritize groups for the vaccine until it is more widely available.
The health system is strongly encouraging all eligible health care workers to receive the vaccine.
“We hope today is a turning point in the battle against this virus,” Sanford Health CEO & President Bill Gassen said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, now is not the time to let down your guard we have to be as resolute and disciplined as we’ve ever been before in the coming months and years.”
“I was just very happy to get it in hopes I’ll be protected from this virus and hope I won’t be sick like we’ve seen so many other people and that I can get back to a more normal life,” Dr. Huber said.
Sanford Health invested in special cold storage facilities and has the capacity to store almost 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.