‘This is the first step,’ South Arkansas hospitals administer the Pfizer vaccine to its employees

Arkansas News

SOUTH ARKANSAS (KTVE/KARD) — Hospitals in South Arkansas have received the Pfizer vaccines late this week.

Some healthcare workers at the Ashley County Medical Center and Chicot Memorial Medical Center were vaccinated today.

“We’d all like to see this thing come to an end and this is the first step,” ACMC Wound Care Physician, Dr. Ken Prather said.

Ouachita County Medical Center and Medical Center of South Arkansas received their shipments on Thursday and administered those vaccines early afternoon.

Vicky Milam, RN administered the first dose to MCSA ER Medical Director Dr. Ugo Nwude. MCSA

“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to vaccinate our frontline healthcare workers with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine,” Director of Pharmacy Eli Vinson said.

“We believe it is the beginning of a turning point in the fight against this virus and one of many steps we are taking to ensure our healthcare team is protected and healthy enough to take care of our community.”

For nearly a year, healthcare workers across the country have endured these difficult times as they saw firsthand how the coronavirus can affect an individual.

Most of these doctors and nurses have worked countless hours to care for patients.

“In the emergency department, we had to be pretty selective about who needs to be admitted to the hospital, who needs an ICU bed, who needs a ventilator,” Dr. Prather said.

They are hoping the daily emotional and physical toll of being surrounded by this virus will soon be over.

“I think for most nurses it give us a sense of relief because it does seem like this could be the end of it,” ACMC Registered nurse, Haley Knight said.

Approximately 100 employees at ACMC received the vaccine throughout the morning on Friday.

Dr. Cara Worley, an OBGYN physician, couldn’t wait to get vaccinated and had been looking forward to this very day.

She says she’s not just doing it to protect herself and her family but she’s doing it for others.

“I’m ready for my patients in labor and delivery to have their grandmothers and their aunts come visit them in a hospital,” Dr. Worley said. “I’m ready for grandmothers to take pictures in the nursery. It’s totally changed and we have not been able to do that in over a year.”

According to the Camden News, The Ouachita County Medical Center was given 100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. OCMC President Peggy Abbot described it as being one of the happiest days in her career.

Doctors are hoping the vaccine becomes available to the public by spring 2021. Until then, they’re urging everyone to get versed on the facts while they wait.

“It’s good to educate yourself but don’t get caught in a lot of the misinformation that’s being disseminated,” Dr. Prather said.

Doctors say the public should continue to be vigilant until everyone is able to get the vaccine and even thereafter.

“What we need until we get a vaccine is for people to still social distance, wash their hands, wear a mask. This is such a small sacrifice,” Director of Infection Control and Prevention, Dr. Mark Malloy said.

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