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Frontline healthcare workers receive first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Illinois Quad Cities

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 9:40 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 1:58 PM CST
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - UnityPoint Health Trinity and Genesis administered the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Illinois side of the Quad Cities Wednesday afternoon.

The vaccinations were given to Trinity staff in Rock Island and Genesis employees in Silvis. The vaccination is specifically for workers who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic providing care to COVID-19 patients and offered a sign of hope.

“In this battle against COVID, this is the first sign that we’re going to turn it back,” Dr. Sanjeev Puri a Cardiologist for Cardiovascular Medicine said.

After months of what appeared to be no end in sight, Wednesday was a historic moment for the 35 employees who received UnityPoint Health-Trinity’s first doses.

“I think we’re a little more hopeful,” Intensive Care Unit Nurse Renee Feldpausch said, “As we saw these coming, a little more hopeful that over the next couple of weeks we’ll see a decline in admissions.”

As more vaccinations become available in the next several months, health leaders are urging everyone to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity.

“Otherwise, we’ll keep on suffering. If we want to return to normal life, as soon as the vaccine is available get it,” Dr. Puri said.

Although it’s been months and COVID-19 continues raging on, the arrival of this vaccine offered hope for these healthcare heroes and a clearer sign that the end of the pandemic is closer than ever before.

“When we come together, there’s nothing we cannot beat. At the same time, I’ve seen this virus cause so much pain and suffering,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Toyosi Olutade said.

500 hospital staff are expected to be vaccinated at UnityPoint Health-Trinity Rock Island by the end of the week.

Frontline workers at Genesis received the vaccine for the first time on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities Tuesday morning.

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