St. Joseph’s nurses support each other as vaccine rollout begins

St. Joseph’s nurses support each other as vaccine rollout begins

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Health care workers across the nation have been able to get vaccines starting this week. Georgia’s vaccinations started in Savannah, where more and more people are getting their shots.

Friday was the first day of mass vaccinations at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the groups that came in said they believe it was a life-changing moment.

“We are super excited,” Clinical Nurse Manager Kathy Cowart said.

That excitement is not just for the holiday season but for the vaccine nurses at St. Joseph’s are saying is a gift.

“These last eight months have been really difficult for us. So, we are a tightknit group and we want to do something festive for the end of 2020 and I’ll come up here together and support each other,” ER nurse Diane McGhan said. “So, it’s an early Christmas present for us.”

Staff members, like the hospital’s ER nurses, were able to come in and receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

“To support each other. It was just an awesome experience.”

This group of nurses was just part of the 4,000 employees that will be vaccinated across the St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System over the next few weeks. They say this will change things

“I think with us, we are multiple, we have staff that’s not been able to see their grandparents since March. You worry about taking it home to your family. And I’ve had two nurses out with COVID. So, it was multifaceted. I think we are protecting ourselves was one of the last things we thought of. It’s all about protecting our patients.”

So far, hundreds of staff members have been vaccinated at the hospital. 150 people were vaccinated at St. Joseph’s in just a few hours on Friday.

“I know a lot of people want to get this vaccine, so, I feel relief today and really lucky that I have this opportunity that some people don’t right now.”

This phase of vaccinations is expected to last about two to three months, but we should know the plan for the second phase by the end of the year.

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