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First health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccine in Indianapolis

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Posted at 10:41 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 15:40:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A doctor and an emergency room nurse became the first health care workers in the city to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning at Methodist Hospital.

Vaccine supply will be limited at first and increase quickly over time, according to IU Health. Frontline health care workers and long-term care facility workers and residents will receive first priority.

People who receive the vaccine will require a second dose three weeks after the first.

Dr. Steven Roumpf, who said he lost his father to the coronavirus, said he had no reservations about receiving the vaccine.

"I got invited to be a little part of history. It's spectacular, no other way to describe it," said Roumpf, medical director for IU Health emergency medicine. "This is truly the light at what has been a very long tunnel."

On Dec. 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the nation's first COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use.

The first doses of the vaccine began shipping across the country on Dec. 13.

During Wednesday's weekly COVID-19 news conference, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said it will take several months for vaccinations to be available for everyone in the state.

There have been 440,850 positive cases and 6,781 deaths in Indiana since the pandemic began. An additional 320 probable coronavirus deaths have also been reported.

The vaccine's arrival is seen as the first step to finally ending the pandemic.

"I feel a lot of hope today. Getting back to what we're used to calling normalization before social distancing and wearing masks everywhere we went," Joe Majchrowicz, an ER nurse, said.

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