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Rady Children’s Hospital First In Region To Begin Vaccinating Frontline Workers

A Rady Children's Hospital worker gets one of the first COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.
Pool photo via CBS 8
A Rady Children's Hospital worker gets one of the first COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.
The first group of frontline medical workers will be vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Nicholas Holmes of Rady Children’s Hospital joined Midday Edition to speak about how the vaccine is being rolled out.

Tuesday afternoon San Diego health care workers started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at Rady Children's Hospital.

Vaccines are being prioritized for nurses, doctors and others working in frontline hospital positions. Nine months into the pandemic health care workers are optimistic about what a vaccine could mean for them, their families and patients.

Rady Children’s Hospital First In Region To Begin Vaccinating Frontline Workers
Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

"I didn’t know I was going to be the first one — but I’m really excited," said Brittanee Randle who is an emergency room nurse at Rady's and the one of the first to get the vaccine.

"It was great," she said minutes after getting the first dose. "The person who administered it was awesome and I’m actually afraid of needles and didn’t feel it."

Randle was told to come back in three weeks for the second dose of the vaccine.

"I did it for my family and I did it for all the children at Rady Children's," said technician Sonia Garcia who regularly works around coronavirus patients.

Garcia was overcome with emotion after getting her vaccine Tuesday.

"When I got the news that I was coming here I got really emotional and happy," she said as she cried. "Because this is a new beginning for all of us and will help so many of us."

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Rady Children's Hospital has been designated a regional vaccine storage site by state officials.

"The vaccine represents hope for our staff and our community and we are very excited to help be part of it and help distribute it," said Rady's pharmacy manager Ron D'Ulisse on Tuesday morning as he was receiving shipments of the vaccine.

Other hospital systems such as UC San Diego Health were getting their first shipments as well and were planning vaccinations for staff this week.

"We will begin immunizing tomorrow," said UC San Diego Health's chief pharmacy officer Charles Daniels on Tuesday. "That’s our effort and should be in full swing by Friday and going seven days a week."

VIDEO: Rady Children’s Hospital First In Region To Begin Vaccinating Frontline Workers

UC San Diego Health officials expect to vaccinate up to 100 staff per day and were hoping to have all their frontline health care workers vaccinated within about a month.

"It’s not mandatory," Daniels said. "We think most of our employees — because they have an interest in their own well being and their patients — they’ll be excited about it."

Palomar Health and Kaiser Permanente San Diego plan to start vaccinating frontline health care workers on Wednesday.

Scripps Health officials said they were planning to begin vaccinations for Tier 1 workers on Thursday.

A Sharp HealthCare spokesperson said Tuesday morning they had not received any doses yet but are expecting them to come this week.

County health officials said the San Diego region is initially receiving 28,000 doses of the vaccine and are expecting more in the coming weeks.

The pandemic has worsened burnout and stress on caregivers for disabled veterans. Meanwhile, San Diego’s Rady Children’s hospital received their first round of COVID-19 vaccines for their frontline emergency nurses. Also, the population of California’s Monarch Butterfly is crashing.

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