Heartland front line receive COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 10:09 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A key weapon to battle the virus has now been administered in the Heartland.

Health care workers in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois rolled up their sleeves today to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Five employees at Southeast Health were among the first in our area to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

“If this goes into wide use. I think this will be the beginning of the end of coronavirus for us, and that’s huge,” they said. “I think this is really the next logical step we’re learning more and more about the virus each day.”

“This is the biggest tool that we have, right now bigger than anything else that we’ve got so far.” they said.

Southeast Health Hospital nurse Molly Brown said she did it to ease people’s concerns.

“I know people are scared about it, and there’s a lot of fear around it, and if stepping forward and being one of the first to get it helps take away some of that fear helps some people see that we have a way to fight this virus a little bit better then I’m certainly wiling to get it,” she said.

In Southern Illinois, health care workers in Harrisburg and Eldorado were the first to get the shot.

Nurse Brittany Dominguez and Peggy Shuler received the vaccine at the hospital in Mount Vernon.

“It’s honestly what needs to be done it’s no other way we have to vaccinate people if we ever want to stop wearing mask,” Dominguez said.

“It’s exciting and I’m happy that we have the vaccine because I fee like it’s going to be the turning point in ending this pandemic,” Shuler said.

Southeast Health CEO Kenneth Bateman said the December 16 vaccinations are just the beginning.

“By the time that we finish vaccinating southeast employees our second shipment should already be here so we feel pretty comfortable that with weekly allocations we should be able to keep up with the demand,” he said.

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