First doses of COVID vaccine administered at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg – ABC27

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Healthcare heroes in Harrisburg had their turn to get the Pfizer vaccine on Friday afternoon.

A UPMC Pinnacle spokesperson in Harrisburg called Friday afternoon a light at the end of what has been an extremely long tunnel. Although he says Pennsylvania still has a long way to go.

Still, to even see that glimmer of hope was enough for these war-torn healthcare workers.

Five people, including an OB-GYN and Emergency department manager volunteered to get the vaccine in front of ABC27 cameras.

Right now, UPMC is prioritizing people who work with COVID patients, but they hope to vaccinate all of their employees in the next six weeks.

It’s a huge feat considering the hospital system usually takes three to four months to give all of their employees a flu vaccine.

“What will get life back to normal is when most of us have immunity. We can get that one of two ways. We can get herd immunity, or the virus has to go through roughly most of the population,” explains Dr. John Goodman, vice president of medical affairs at UPMC Pinnacle.

ABC27 asked if the employees who got the vaccine had to do anything special, like rest or go home after the shot was administered. However, it was made clear that the healthcare works went right back to work.

Of course, UPMC will continue to monitor everyone’s reactions to the vaccine, with the most common side effect being a fever the next day.

If that happens, the UPMC employees will stay home.

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