PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - “So long, COVID!”
Those are the words shouted by one nurse at Singing River Hospital on Tuesday the first vaccines arrived at the Pascagoula hospital.
Just under 1,000 inoculations of the vaccine arrived at the hospital, greeted by hospital employees to the sounds of cheers. Those hospital employee became the first in Jackson County to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
It’s a moment that Singing River Health System CEO Lee Bond has anxiously awaited since the pandemic first began.
“I must admit, it was exciting. After all that the folks have been through, seeing the nurses and the doctors that were able to receive the vaccines today, just the feeling that it gives them just another little piece of hope and something that they can count on,” Bond said. “Lets them know, hey I’m going to be safe administering, caring, for all the people in our community.”
Of the 975 doses of the vaccine that were delivered, healthcare heroes who care for COVID patients on a daily basis were the first to get a shot of the vaccine. They will follow up that initial dose in 21 days with a second shot.
“We really do not have a lot of information about phase one B, phase two, phase three, and the timing on those. There’s a lot of speculation about them but until it’s here, we can’t count on it,” Bond said. “We’re really focused on the here and the now. We got people vaccinated today. We think we’ll have most of these distributed by Friday.”
With the uncertain timeframe of when the mass distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine will be available, Bond is urging everyone to continue practicing social precautions.
“The vaccine is not the only weapon in the arsenal against COVID-19. We still need people to do those same things that we’ve been preaching,” Bond said. “Isolate if you’re ill, don’t be a close talker, that’s the way it spreads, mostly in people’s homes.”
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed to critical frontline healthcare workers at all three of the Singing River Health System Hospitals on the Gulf Coast.