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Local frontline workers share experience giving COVID vaccine

Patient receives COVID vaccine at UCHealth
Posted at 5:07 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 19:07:47-05

SOUTHERN COLORADO — The COVID-19 vaccine is providing a new sense of relief for local doctors and nurses working on the front-line. They've been administering the vaccine to people in the community since December. Some are giving around 200 shots daily.

As healthcare workers distribute the vaccine, for patients, it's a moment to remember.

"So many people that I've given the vaccine to have wanted to take pictures of it, just to commemorate the experience, and know that they're part of history" said Ramona Garule, a registered nurse at Parkview Medical Center.

Getting the vaccine means families can also reunite soon. Kelly Beach, who works at the Children's Hospital Colorado Springs as a clinical manager, vaccinated an elderly woman who hasn't seen her family in six months.

"That was a bit emotional because she wants to give her grandaughter a hug, and now she'll be able to do that," said Beach. "As a mother, I know what a hug feels like, and to know she'll get it, means we're doing something amazing."

While nurses and doctors have worked on the front-lines throughout the pandemic, they've turned into superheroes in the eyes of patients.

"I actually had a patient on Saturday who gave me a Superman pendant because we're all superheroes," said Joanna Cross, a registered medical assistant and full-time vaccinator at UCHealth. "To see how grateful everyone else is for it. It just makes me happy and grateful when I go home everyday."

Around 75% of staff at Parkview Medical Center have gotten vaccinated. Around 30,000 vaccinations have been administered in the Children's Hospital Colorado system. For not only patients, but for healthcare workers too, it's a step in the direction toward normalcy.

"Overall, it's been pretty amazing and it feels like we're giving a type of freedom back to people," said Garule. "It's one of the most special things about being a nurse and be in this situation. I'm fortunate to be able to see people's reactions firsthand and how much we are helping."

"What I personally see, is I see hope. I feel like this is hope for more travel, for getting out and seeing friends and loved ones, and hope the pandemic is going to end at some point," said Beach.

Healthcare workers say some people are apprehensive or nervous about getting the shot, whether it's being in a doctor's office or hospital setting, or receiving the shot itself. Nurses will answer any questions someone has.