Healthcare workers in Virginia started receiving the state’s first doses of a coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, kicking off what is likely to be a months long process of inoculating people from the potentially deadly disease.
The Ballad Health system broadcast live video of registered nurse Emily Boucher getting her first shot in an area of southwestern Virginia.
“I will never stop trying to convince everyone about the reality of COVID-19,” Boucher said before pulling up her left sleeve at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon.
Boucher works in the hospital’s COVID-19 intensive care unit. She spoke of patients “who are alone and lonely and scared” and the healthcare workers who sometimes hold up phones to patients’ ears “so they can hear a familiar voice.”
Several health care workers at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in the eastern part of the state also received injections.
“My heart really goes out to our frontline health care workers, those that have come in every day,” said Gov. Ralph Northam, who attended the event in Norfolk.
Healthcare workers are a priority as vaccines are distributed. And supplies will be limited for months to come. There likely won’t be enough for the average person to get a shot until spring.