University of Iowa Hospitals begin vaccinating employees for COVID-19

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 5:40 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived in Iowa City even earlier than anticipated this morning.

Staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics thought they’d be able to vaccinate around 160 employees today due to the early start. Masks couldn’t even hide the smiles in the room as the vaccinations began.

“It is definitely a big Christmas present for sure,” Anne Zepeski, a clinical pharmacist at UIHC, said.

David Conway, a registered nurse who works with COVID-19 patients became the first in the state to receive the vaccine.

“It feels very exciting to be the first person in the state to receive the vaccine. I feel great to have the vaccine and finally be ahead of this virus,” Conway said.

Conway said he started his morning with a surprise phone call letting him know he was first in line, he was shocked.

“Beautiful day for a vaccine,” Conway said.

Soon after Conway was finished, other UIHC employees began cycling through, the total process for each poke took about 5 minutes.

“I was really excited, it’s still a little surreal to me but yeah just pure excitement,” Zepeski said. “It felt like a flu shot, nothing scary.”

Those vaccinated are still taking precautions and they have one shot to go since it’s a two-part process but they see today as a huge step towards getting a handle on the pandemic.

“It’s just very exciting, I’ve been anticipating this for a long, long time,” Conway said.

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