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First COVID vaccines arrive at Crisp Regional


Crisp Regional Hospital employee Sam Boggs unloads the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines as Hope French checks them in.

 

By Neil McGahee

Managing Editor

 

Crisp Regional Hospital’s chief nursing supervisor April Dukes could hardly contain her excitement as she watched the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine arrive.

“I’m just shaking, I am so excited,” she said. “I thought it would never get here.”

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the tri-county area, the delivery of the vaccines was a pleasant sight.

“They arrived at 10:30 a.m. under a full police escort,” Dukes said. “We received 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine.”

Recipients of the shipment will be health care workers, nursing home patients and patients with co-morbidities that may have a poor outcome if they contract the virus.

When the coronavirus pandemic began early in 2020, experts wondered if there would be surges such as those seen in other pandemics.

Their concerns were well founded as the initial surge occurred in the summer followed by a much larger one in the fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, this may be the deadliest year in United States history, with total deaths expected to top 3.2 million for the first time — 322,000 due to the coronavirus pandemic — the largest single-year percentage leap since 1918, when hundreds of thousands Americans died in the flu pandemic.

“We had gotten to a low point of COVID cases in late October,” Dukes said. “But after the Thanksgiving holiday, the numbers steadily increased.”

She said she expects the same thing to happen after the Christmas holiday and that’s one reason she was so excited to see the vaccine arrive.