Frontline workers reflect on being first in the state to receive COVID-19 vaccine


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Reed Steffen and Jessica Taylor had a sense of how historic this day was.

“It was a great moment in history, not only for everyone who has those risks. I did it for them, I did it for everybody,” Steffen said.

On Monday, Steffen and Taylor were two of the first Hoosiers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. Vaccination efforts are expected to amplify in the coming days at Parkview Health and select pilot hospital systems across the state.

Steffen, a patient care technician in the progressive care unit, found out he would be among the first to receive the vaccine about two hours before they were distributed. Taylor, a registered nurse, knew well in advance.

Heading into the Mirro Center, neither felt any hesitation as they trusted the science and the people that developed Pfizer’s COVID-19. The process of getting vaccinated was described as streamlined and efficient.

After combating the coronavirus for months, they both called this moment a pivotal point in ending the pandemic.

“I do see everyday, what this virus has done to multiple age groups, and if this (vaccine) is a way we can stop this virus. I’m all for it,” Taylor said.

Aside from minor arm soreness and fatigue, neither Steffen nor Taylor have exhibited any major side effects since Monday.

Monday’s vaccination offered a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel, but for now Steffen and Taylor urged the public to stay vigilant even when a virus becomes available to the general public.

“Wearing masks and social distancing are still extremely important,” Steffen said. “It’s just important that we respect our boundaries and respect the virus, because it is very, very dangerous.”

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