Proud, emotional day at Ann Arbor VA Hospital as first COVID-19 vaccine shots are given

Nurse vaccinated Wednesday treated first COVID-19 patient in March

Proud, emotional day at Ann Arbor VA Hospital as first COVID-19 vaccine shots are given

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On its fresh journey throughout Michigan, some of the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have reached the frontline workers who care for the men and woman protecting our nation’s freedom.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, employees at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System received their first round of coronavirus vaccines.

“It’s exciting. It’s a big day,” said ICU nurse Jessica Scaff. “It’s a day we’ve been waiting for since March, right? Feels like it’s hopefully a turning point in all this.”

VA Ann Arbor officials say the health care system has received 1,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine so far. Employees vaccinated at the medical center Wednesday will return in three weeks to receive their second injection of the vaccine -- which is administered in two doses per individual.

Of the first in line to receive the vaccine was nurse Scaff, who actually helped treat the very first COVID-19 patient back in March.

“It was just terrifying ... we had this coming in and they’re telling us how bad it is. It was kind of just a point of survival ... come in every day, do your job, get home, rest and get back and do it again,” Scaff said. “As far as getting to this point -- vaccinating and hopefully seeing a downtrend in all this -- it’s amazing. I had no idea when it would happen or how it would happen.”

Now Scaff can rest assured knowing that doctors and health experts are saying that the vaccine is safe and will be used to save millions of lives. VA Ann Arbor housekeeper Darris Deal also received the vaccine on Wednesday, but says he was apprehensive at first.

“Honestly before (the vaccination), I was a little nervous, I won’t lie. But as I’ve talked to other coworkers and other people in the hospital, I’ve gotten more comfortable with it,” Deal said. “Today is the day that helps other people want to take it and get vaccinated, so that way we can get over this pandemic and get back to regular life.”

For now, the first Michiganders to get vaccinated will be frontline workers in the health care industry. Soon, that opportunity will become accessible to the general public as the vaccine becomes more widely available.

Read: Michigan officials: COVID vaccine to be distributed in 4 phases, prioritize frontline workers

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.