TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Tippecanoe County has reached a major milestone in its fight against the coronavirus.
The first round of health care workers in Tippecanoe County received their COVID-19 vaccine Friday. This, only a day after the county received a shipment of more than 900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
More than 300 health care workers were expected to receive the vaccine Friday. Doctors like IU Health Arnett's Associate Chief of Adult Inpatient Medicine Chris Mansfield said this is a big step in helping those fighting the coronavirus on the frontlines.
"I think this is a much needed boost in our arm, literally, to take the next steps in fighting this disease," said Mansfield. "It's just very exciting to finally see, hey, we may reach some normalcy sometime in the near future.
Mansfield said he's hopeful the vaccine will be the turning point in combating the coronavirus.
"The more we can get vaccinated, the less team members we can have out in quarantine, the easier it's going to be for us to fight the disease and also to help other people, patients that come in," said Mansfield.
Acording to Daniel Wickert, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Franciscan Health Lafayette, the vaccine will also help create a safer work environment in hospitals.
"Our ED doctors, our nursing staff, our ICU nurses are going back and taking care of those individuals who are suffering and struggling with COVID right now. So to get them protected for the future is great for us and we're really excited about that," said Wickert.
The vaccine is still few months away from being accessible by all, but IU Health Arnett's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Bien said people should be optimistic for the future as more people get vaccinated.
"We'll be able to start to get back to normal. We'll be able start to be safely gathering in small groups and in larger groups. This is the way to do it," said Bien.
Vaccinations will continue over the next few days. IU Health Arnett Hospital is expected to receive another shipment of the vaccine as soon as Tuesday.