COVID-19 vaccinations begin in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Healthcare workers at Philadelphia hospitals began receiving coronavirus vaccinations on Wednesday morning.

"I knew I was going to get the vaccine as soon as I can. I didn't know it was going to be this quick," said emergency room nurse Jennifer Gil at Jefferson University Hospital.

Gil was one of the first healthcare workers at Jefferson to receive Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine.

Gil was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March. Not only did she want to get the vaccine herself, but she looks forward to wider distribution.

"I think it is important for not only nurses to do it, for the whole community, but also minorities. I think there's also a huge disparity and a stigma for especially Latinos, so it was an honor to kind of do that and get vaccinated right away," Gil explained.

Around 2,900 doses are being sent to Jefferson Health's Philadelphia hospitals in this first week.

Nurse Manager Denise Shapiro called this a major step.

"We've seen too many sick patients, and a lot of patients not making it, and family members not coming in to see their loved ones. We've been on FaceTime, Zoom with families, and we want to be back into our other world of taking care of the patients," Shapiro said.

At Nazareth Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia, lead hospitalist Dr. Greg Berry was the first to receive the vaccine Wednesday.

"I'm quite confident this is a great vaccine. This will be a start in putting COVID behind us," Berry said.

At Pennsylvania Hospital, the first immunizations were administered bright and early.

Penn Medicine included staff from emergency departments, trauma, labor & delivery, and COVID testing sites, among those in their first round.

"I think it's very important the community actually get the shot and should have no fear of getting the shot because it's very important that we all get the shot," said Eric Young, nurse.
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