SEATTLE — On Tuesday, the first people were injected with the coronavirus vaccine in Washington state.
In this group of firsts were 13 doctors, nurses, first responders and other healthcare employees.
“Hopefully this will be a step towards the end of the pandemic. We’ve all been working really hard and it’s hard to keep your motivation when there’s no end in sight," said Mikaela Hagberg, a flight nurse with Airlift Northwest.
The end is now, finally, visible for all of us – albeit a long way off. The general public isn't expected to have access to the vaccine until a few months.
For the 13 local frontline workers, that journey has begun to end. None of the 13 were more emotional today than Allison Miller, who injected the first batch of recipients.
Miller is an oncology nurse who gave birth to a baby boy just before the lockdown, 10 long months ago.
“I gave birth at the end of February. So, it’s been a really isolating time for me because keeping a newborn safe during all these unknowns... it’s just held a lot of weight for me," Miller said, choking up.
Representing first responders, Alan Goto – a paramedic with the Seattle Fire Department - said he felt both a professional and societal responsibility to get vaccinated.
“It will help us do our job safer and maybe more efficiently. But it’s also our responsibility as part of this community to do this. We all need to do this. It’s time for everybody to step up.”
Per UW Medicine, the following individuals were the first to get vaccinated on Tuesday:
- A Harborview COVID-19 ICU nurse
- A nurse with the Emergency Department at UW Medical Center Northwest
- An environmental services employee at UW Medical Center- Montlake
- A paramedic with the Seattle Fire Department
- A flight nurse with Airlift Northwest
- The medical director of the hospitalist team at Valley Medical Center
- A doctor of pulmonary/critical care and sleep medicine at UW Medical Center -Montlake
- A patient care technician at UW Medical Center - Montlake
- A doctor of emergency medicine and a third-year resident
- A nurse of COVID acute care at UW Medical Center- Montlake
- A clinical specialist of respiratory care at Harborview Medical Center
- A doctor and director of post-acute care network at Harborview
- A medical assistant