The first person in one state to receive the long-waited COVID-19 vaccine called the jab a “moment of hope” in the fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“[It’s] just a moment of hope, a moment of a potential change of the course that we’re on with the pandemic right now. I couldn’t be more excited — I feel perfectly fine, I’ve had no issues with the vaccine,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti, the medical director of Infection Prevention at Atrium Health in North Carolina. Passaretti is said to be the first person in the Tar Heel State to receive the vaccine.
“Again, I would just encourage everyone to consider getting vaccinated, talk to your doctor, get educated,” she added.
The health care organization was one of the first in the nation to receive doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 jab on Monday. The rollout officially began with the first shot being administered to a critical care nurse in New York.
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“I feel hopeful,” the nurse, said to be the first to receive the vaccine in the U.S., said after she was vaccinated during a Gov. Andrew Cuomo press conference on Monday. She added that she was also “relieved.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that the initial doses be administered to health care workers and residents and staff of long-term living facilities. Though states are not required to follow the federal agency’s recommendations, many will follow them.
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Americans over the age of 65, as well as those with preexisting health conditions that could put them at risk for more severe illness should they contract the novel virus, are likely next in line.
“This is the beginning of the end [of the pandemic],” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams of the vaccine rollout during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” on Monday.