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A Historic Day as Frontline Staff at Family Medical Receive COVID-19 Vaccinations

The first wave of staff members at Family Medical in Weiser received the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccination yesterday, Friday, December 18th, 2020.  It was a historic day that will bring a lot of hope to many.

The first vaccine administered was given to Hilary Kile, RN and infection control manager, who volunteered to receive.  Also, among the first healthcare workers to volunteer for the vaccine was Brad Terry, DO, who was also the physician overseeing the first vaccines being administered.  Kathy Adams, RN administered the shot to Dr. Terry.  Also present was a pharmacist to ensure the vaccine was being measured correctly.

Other network news stations were reporting that a smaller number of expected doses were a hiccup in the vaccine shipment this week.  Madora Albertson of Family Medical stated that as far as she knew, this decrease in expected doses did not impact Washington County.  While she was not at liberty to say how many vaccines were received or how many people received in the first wave, Albertson explained that Family Medical ordered their vaccines through Southwest District Health for their frontline workers and first responders.  Those who volunteered to receive were given a shot first.  If there are leftover vaccinations, they have permission to move on to police officers who wish to receive one.

Thus far, no side effects or reactions to the vaccine have been seen.  All those who have received so far have been quick and painless.  Albertson stated that they are pleased with how the first wave of vaccinations has gone.  They ask for people to watch for typical signs of reaction, similar to those you would see with a flu vaccine, such as pain and redness at the injection site, headache, mild fever, and sickness.  According to the CDC, common side effects are pain and swelling, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache.  Side effects might feel like the flu but will likely go away after a couple of days.  With the COVID-19 shot, people will need a second shot in order for the vaccine to work.  At this time, it is not known when the second shot will be ready for the frontline and first responders.

The COVID-19 vaccines have moved through approval very quickly, which has a lot of people concerned and even fearful of taking it.  When asked about how she would respond to those who are fearful, Albertson said that she understands the fear and is very empathetic towards those who have distrust around vaccines.  “If you want to wait and see how the first responders react to the vaccine, that’s ok!  It’s ok to wait.”  There are a number of factors that contribute to the fear of vaccines.  “Having a choice in the matter is understandable,” she also explained.

People are still encouraged to wear masks and socially distance to reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others while the vaccine is rolling out to specific targeted populations. 

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