Momentous day here at UVA Health: Our frontline care providers began receiving the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19.
The first person vaccinated was Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton. She's documenting her experiences on social media, as is our Dr. Taison Bell, the director of our Medical Intensive Care Unit.
“I want you to see me in real time as I undergo this process and as my body adapts to having this medicine injected into my arm,” Dr. Hilton said. “I’m hoping that in that transparency, you will be able to make a better decision for you and yours about receiving the vaccine.”
Dr. Bell described his emotions upon receiving the vaccine:
“This is a big moment, and it’s a great feeling to take a step toward protecting myself from coronavirus or spreading it to my family and loved ones,” he said. “This pandemic has ravaged the nation and the world, particularly in Black and brown communities like the one I come from. This is the first time that I have genuine hope that we can turn the corner.”
Dr. K. Craig Kent, UVA's executive vice president for health affairs, thanked all our folks who have worked diligently so the vaccinations could begin as quickly as possible.
“I am so grateful to the teams from across the health system that have spent weeks preparing for the arrival of the vaccine. We were ready to begin vaccination the same day our initial shipment arrived,” he said. “We have 13,000 employees at the health system and look forward to the opportunity to vaccinate all of our frontline workers and thus create a safe environment for our patients.”