VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) received their vaccine package on Monday and they started administering it as well.
Hospital management said they’ve scheduled about 200 employees to get the vaccine on Monday.
“I’m excited. I’m glad SGMC put their trust in me and I hope my colleagues will follow and also do. And I hope the community will when it’s available for them,” said JP Notoma, senior staff registered nurse.
The day has arrived for SGMC and the excitement could be felt in the air.
SGMC received 975 Pfizer vaccines Monday morning.
The first ones to get the vaccine were hospital CEO Ronnie Dean and Notoma, who’s been caring for COVID patients.
“We are very pleased. This is a monumental day for us,” said Dr. Brian Dawson, SGMC chief medical officer.
He said they’ve been anxiously waiting for the vaccine’s arrival since last week.
He was also among the first ones to get it Monday and administer it as well.
Dawson vaccinated one of his colleagues, Dr. Gregory Beale. Beale then vaccinated him.
“To know that we are able to share that together, I gave him his immunization, he gave me mine and that’s something that I’ll certainly remember for days to come,” said Dawson.
Said Beale: “We’re excited to get the vaccine, we’re excited to get the vaccination underway and I’m very hopeful it’ll at least break the stranglehold COVID has had on everybody and give everybody a little emotional relieve for a while.”
More than 500 signed up to receive it.
The hospital is not mandating employees get it for now.
“I know that Dr. (William) Grow and the members of the Department of Public Health, they are also moving forward to work with us in a collaborative effort to make sure that we have plenty of vaccines for this community. So, the fact that we are all in this together, that to me is probably the most important thing about this. We are able to stick together and get through this challenging time,” said Dawson.
Healthcare officials hope this is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Hospital officials say since Moderna was just approved, they expect its arrival sometime next week.
They will get through level one of distribution, covering healthcare workers, then long-term care facilities.
There’s no word yet on when the public will get it.
The difference in companies is the amount of time for the second dose and the storage temperatures.
For Pfizer, the wait is 21 days until the second dose and for Moderna, it’s 28 days.