Frontline workers at Deaconess Gateway receive COVID-19 vaccine

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EVANSVILLE (WEHT) – It may come as no surprise that there was some sense of relief in the air as many front line Deaconess Gateway Hospital workers got vaccinated Wednesday for a virus they’ve been up against for over 9 months. Many of them say they are grateful to be a part of such a landmark day.

“This pandemic is so terrible, so I’m very excited to be one of the first people to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Quartey-Kumapley

“You know it’s such a huge honor to be one of the first to receive the vaccine so that we can continue helping our community, helping out patients and helping people get past this virus,” said Dr. Philip Adams.

Doctors said they hope by taking the vaccine themselves, it will give others the confidence to do the same. Quartey-Kumapley acknowledged there is a lot of mistrust in the vaccine among minorities but she says she hopes she was able to set an example.

“As a black physician, I wanted to help with the mistrust and show that the vaccine is safe and minority people can take it,” Quartey-Kumapley said.

Healthcare workers said they’ve done extensive research and they trust the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

“Well, this vaccination is very safe, it’s been well-studied. We have reviewed the literature, obviously, as physicians and scientists and healthcare providers, we’ve reviewed the literature extensively before we volunteered to take the vaccination today. And we believe it to be very safe and effective with very few side effects. And I would encourage everyone who is able to take the vaccination,” said Dr. Gina Huhnke.

“The disease itself is deadly enough, and the concept of the vaccine and available information are good enough and safe enough that we should go for it,” Dr. Mohammed Allaw.

These doctors are just one more injection away from being closer to, what they say, will be 95 percent immunity. From here, health care workers will set up their second round of shots in just three weeks.

(This story was originally published on December 16, 2020)

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