Utah officially began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers Tuesday.
A group of health care providers cheered as Christy Mulder, a nurse in the University of Utah Health intensive care unit, received what is presumably the first COVID-19 vaccine in Utah. The U live streamed the event on Facebook Tuesday morning.
They received their first doses of the vaccine earlier in the day. Kavish Choudhary, Senior Director of the U of U Health Pharmacy, said it was a whirlwind of a morning.
"We received notice over the weekend that our order has been placed by the state," Choudhary said. "So we are anxiously waiting for the tracking number. Just before seven o'clock, we got noticed that they had left the UPS area in Salt Lake. Our doc was well aware and prepared for the vaccine coming in the vaccine came in just a little after seven o'clock."
U of U Health was able to vaccine five healthcare providers in the morning, and expected to vaccinate another 20-25 people by the end of the day. They’re hoping to be able to vaccinate a couple hundred healthcare workers on Wednesday.
Mulder said her time in ICU solidified her decision to be one of the first vaccinated in the state.
"I think the first thing that comes to my head is how painful it is to see patients suffer for so long," Mulder said. "There's always been a lot of suffering in the MICU...a lot of death. But there's something different about COVID-19 in that it feels so much longer...all these patients are with us for so much longer. And so that that weight feels heavier and heavier over time. So to see a vaccine... to get a vaccine, it really is overwhelming because it's the beginning of an end. And that's really hopeful."
Intermountain Healthcare also administered vaccines on Tuesday. In a press conference Monday, they said Utah should receive 23,000 doses by the end of the week.