Stony Brook University Hospital received its first batch of the coronavirus vaccine, helping dozens of frontline workers at the highest risk of exposure.
Kisa King, resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the hospital, received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, administered by pharmacist Ian Pak.
King said that she was “honored” to be the first one injected.
“I am so excited and thankful to be a part of the solution,” she added. “Not only does this mean that I can continue delivering care to my patients, but it also means I am providing protection to my family, friends and community.”
On Dec. 15, more than 250 personnel at the hospital working in emergency rooms, critical care units and other high-risk hospital units received the vaccine.
“We’ve been through so much altogether as a community, as a nation, as a world and this is really the first steps towards normalcy,” Pak said. “I think it’s really important for everyone to have hope and be able to look towards the future so that everything we’ve done paid off — not to mention the countless lives that will hopefully be saved by this.”
This major milestone comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. The vaccine has been found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 after two doses.
Pak said he wasn’t expecting that he’d be the first Stony Brook Hospital pharmacist to help out. “It’s just one tiny part of a humongous machine that everyone has contributed to throughout these months,” he said.