Hospitals start to navigate bigger vaccine rollout

Posted at 4:59 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 19:45:15-05

AURORA, Colo. — The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered Monday, but Wednesday more hospitals around the state received their allotments and began navigating the first round.

It was a historic day at The Medical Center of Aurora as nurse Jeanna Brewer received the first COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital, the same day the shipment arrived.

“It’s exciting. It’s just exciting to have the vaccine period,” Brewer said.

She volunteered to work in the COVID ward when the pandemic began and sees the worst first hand, which is why she wanted to participate Wednesday.

“It’s the best alternative we have to COVID. Anything at this point is better than COVID, I feel like," Brewer said. "After seeing COVID and fighting COVID and seeing what it does to people first hand, any fears that I had about the vaccine were totally obliterated in comparison to getting COVID."

Earlier Wednesday, Joyce Jones was among the first vaccinated at Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital.

“Because I don’t want to get my family sick, my kids or grandkids sick,” Jones said

She can't go right back to her job doing COVID-19 screening immediately, though.

“We have to wait 24 to 48 hours before we can come back to work,” Jones said.

The hospital is staggering appointments and making sure people in different departments aren't all going at once, in case there are complications.

“So that way we’re not going to vaccinate our entire ICU nursing pull all the same time,” said North Suburban Medical Center Director of Pharmacy Dr. Melissa Miller.

They put a system in place to limit who can even make appointments.

“It’ll only push out the appointment times to people in the appropriate tier that we are currently vaccinating,” Miller said.

It will be a major undertaking for all hospitals as they get through the first major rollout.

“We’re excited to get the vaccine into people's arms and get them lined up for their second dose in about three weeks,” said Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Chief Nursing Officer David Leslie.

The goal is simple: to make this pandemic a thing of the past.

“I know that a lot of hard work and a lot of amazing people try to put forth the effort to make this happen and it’s a miracle of science," Brewer said. "I’m excited to be a part of it."