'Everybody should do their part': Glenview's Glenbrook Hospital gets first vaccines to staff
A Glenbrook Hospital doctor said he is cautiously optimistic after the arrival of 1,950 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
"Yesterday and today are great days for us," said Dr. Neil Freedman, head of pulmonary, critical care, allergy and immunology, during a news conference at Glenbrook Hospital Friday. "There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel for us."
Front-line hospital staff members within the NorthShore University HealthSystem now are receiving the vaccine, including those who work with COVID-19 patients in intensive care units. Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview is the primary hospital for COVID-19 patients within the NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Even with the optimism provided with the arrival of the vaccine, Freedman stressed that people still need to wash their hands, wear masks, practice social distancing, get flu shots if they haven't already done so, and stay home if they are sick.
"We need a little more sacrifice right now," Freedman said. "Now that the vaccine is here, it's still going to be quite a while, I would imagine, for the general population to get it (the vaccine) so we're all protected."
Rose Paone, an ICU nurse, is among the staff members who received the vaccine Thursday. She said it was an emotional moment for all those who had been working on the front line of the pandemic.
"Yesterday after I got the vaccine, I felt so relieved," Paone said. "I feel so much better. It's been really brutal these last nine months."
Paone said she and her colleagues have seen the worst of what COVID-19 can do.
"Everybody should do their part and take the vaccine, and then we won't have to see so much suffering," Paone said.
The Pfizer vaccine is two doses given three weeks apart, and those within the NorthShore University HealthSystem who receive the first dose are automatically scheduled for the second dose at the appropriate time, Freedman said. The Moderna vaccine, which is likely to be approved soon, has a four-week interval, Freedman said.
Freedman said he understands that there may be a degree of apprehension about taking a new type of vaccine. He said there has been almost universal acceptance among the critical care staff.
"I think it's appropriate for some people to be apprehensive," Dr. Freedman said. "I think over time, and I am hopeful, most people will see this as a safe and effective vaccine, and will want to take it."
Dr. Sarah Donlan, associate chief of emergency medicine, urged people to trust in the science, because vaccines save lives.
"There are a lot of diseases in the world that are eradicated by vaccines," Donlan said.