EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Five nurses at University Medical Center were the first to receive the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine after the first shipment arrived early Tuesday morning.
UMC is the first hospital in the region to receive the vaccine shipment, receiving a total of 2,925. Four other area hospitals are expecting 975 doses each later this week.
Crystal Molina, a charge nurse at UMC’s emergency department, was the first person to receive the vaccine.
“It’s been hard because I’ve seen what COVID-19 can do to people and to families a lot of people think it’s not going to happen to me and unfortunately it will, you know, so I’m very excited the vaccine rolled out and that we’re able to get it and hopefully it’s available to everybody to protect everybody,” Molina said.
Health care workers are the first to receive the vaccine as part of the state’s rollout plan. While it is not available to the general public at this time, health officials believe it could be ready in the Spring of 2021.
Nurses and El Paso County leaders encourage the public to continue following safety guidelines in place and said the vaccine is just another layer of protection, not a reason to drop precaution.