NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — On Thursday, TriStar Health received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.
These shots immediately went to front-line workers who treat COVID-19 patients across TriStar Health hospitals.
"We have hope now this is the beginning of the upside of this," said Salomey Agyemang, RN.
For TriStar Health workers Thursday was a day of hope.
Critical care nurse Agyemang says it's been a tough year, especially watching her patients fight for their lives.
"Seeing patients sick, getting so heavily sick without any family members around them and some dying alone with just the nurse by them because we can't let the family come in," said Agyemang.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tama Van Decar says thousands of TriStar Health front-line workers across the state who are working closely with the sickest COVID patients will get vaccinated first.
As more of the Pfizer vaccine doses become available, Van Decar hopes to see everyone from doctors to custodians vaccinated in the next few weeks.
"In all hope, that would be around February that we would be able to see significant antibody immunity amongst our health care providers who are getting the vaccine in the next two weeks," Van Decar said.
Van Decar says the shot is not mandatory for Tristar workers but she encourages everyone to consider it.
"None of us control events like the pandemic, all we can is control how we respond to them," said Van Decar.
Some believe that starts with a shot in the dark.
"I hope that I can be a contributing factor to build them back that confidence; and people think that I've done it, so many other people have done it and it is safe and we're okay," said Agyenmang.
TriStar also encourages all residents in the communities it serves to get vaccinated when the shots come available to them.