Healthcare Workers ‘Hopeful’ After First Group In Muskogee Receives COVID-19 Vaccine

Wednesday, December 16th 2020, 5:22 pm


The first group of healthcare workers at Saint Francis in Muskogee got the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday.

A doctor and nurse were the first to get it in Muskogee. They said they’ve seen the tragic side of this pandemic and said today, they felt hope for the first time in months.

"It means a new year, a new beginning for us, hopefully moving out of the COVID-19 phase I hope," nurse Kim Walton said. Walton was the first staff member at Saint Francis Muskogee to receive the Pfizer vaccine. For her, the small Pfizer vial was than just medicine.

Walton was shocked to hear the vaccine came so quickly to their rural part of the state. Muskogee County has had 44 deaths and more than 5,000 positive cases of COVID-19 so far

"It's been challenging," Walton said. "Our nurses are tired, our physicians are tired, our respiratory therapists are tired."

30 workers at Saint Francis in Muskogee signed up to get vaccinated today for Phase 1 of the state health department's Operation Warp speed to administer the vaccine. 

"This is a big chapter in medicine in our hard road towards recovery and fighting COVID-19," Doctor Ziad Hawa said. He was right behind Walton to get his shot and said, though it is too early to tell, he is confident this vaccine will work.

"I do believe in the vaccine it's affective as we speak today in two months of studies. That's my biggest belief," Ziad said. 

The hospital has received almost 2,000 doses of the vaccine so far. The state health department said it plans to give an update Friday on how many healthcare workers got vaccinated this week.