Tufts Medical Center doctors get first doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine injected into Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez’s arm Tuesday afternoon at Tufts Medical Center is hoped to be “the beginning of the end,” as the first long-awaited doses roll out to Massachusetts health care workers.
“I guess emotions are running right now that this is a great achievement of science and also of health care and public health in the middle of this pandemic so I’m honored and privileged to be part of all this,” said Vazquez, an associate hospital epidemiologist, of the historic moment.
Tufts Medical Center received nearly 3,000 vaccine doses Tuesday morning, some of which were administered mere hours later.
Following Vazquez were nine other frontline Tufts employees that included doctors, nurses, technicians and environmental services aides.
“This is hopeful. This is science. The miracle of science has allowed us to get here,” said Dr. Helen Boucher, Tufts chief of infectious diseases.
“We hope this is the beginning of the end,” said Boucher after taking the vaccine.
Dr. Shira Doron, Tufts hospital epidemiologist who got a vaccine said, “What I’m gonna remember most is just a dichotomy in terms of emotion — knowing that it’s such a terrible time, but then knowing that today really brings hope to to all of us.”
All of the employees smiled behind their masks and remarked that the vaccine didn’t hurt, and that they felt great. After many dark months, the energy, excitement and positivity was tangible at Tufts on Tuesday.
Dr. Saul Weingart, Tufts chief medical officer said he’ll sleep better tonight knowing some employees have been vaccinated.
“It’s a bittersweet day. It’s sweet because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s bitter because there’s been so much pain, suffering and fear along the way,” said Weingart.
He said, “Hope is being rewarded and hope keeps us going.”
Despite the excitement, Tufts doctors also noted the current deadly surge in coronavirus cases and deaths being experienced across the nation and in Massachusetts. They asked that everyone avoid gatherings and follow public health guidance.
Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine was granted emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday. It is 95% effective with no serious side effects reported in clinical trials.
Vaccine doses have arrived at other Boston hospitals including Boston Medical Center, which received 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Monday and on Tuesday, Mass General Brigham said it got an initial shipment of nearly 9,000 doses to be used across 12 hospitals.
The first shipment of vaccine doses from the federal government include nearly 60,000 doses for Massachusetts as part of 300,000 total doses.
 

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