Health experts reflect on one year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 6:19 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Its a milestone we’ve waited a year for - the first ever COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. one year ago Tuesday.

The first dose was given to nurse Sandra Lindsay in Long Island, NY.

Heart of Florida Health Center, Chief Medical Officer, Tabatha Downey said it’s been a roller coaster ride.

“It’s so amazing to think back on how much we’ve overcome in everything that we’ve encountered and it really is a monumental milestone to think that this was the first day that we gave a vaccine one year ago today,” Downey said.

In Florida, the number of people vaccinated is 14,540,602 but experts at UF Health Shands said this year has still been a devastating one.

“The parents have received the vaccine but the child did not and they’re critically ill, I can tell you there’s nothing more tougher, or more tragic than a health care worker to listen to that. That really, really shakes us up, so we do have a ways to go,” UF Health Infectious Disease Specialist and Hospital Epidemiologist, Kartik Cherabuddi said.

If you’re still hesitant on getting the shot, there are other ways to prevent the virus from spreading.

“I am a full advocate of getting the vaccine, but you know we did find a lot of vaccine hesitancy, and so there needed to be a lot of education about the vaccine, but if someone is hesitant, or they can’t get the vaccine, medically for some reason they can not get the vaccine, they can still do other measures to protect themselves,” Downey said.

So, while we have come a long away, these health experts said, don’t throw the masks and hand washing away.

“Get the booster. It is going to get you through this holiday season like nothing else,” Cherabuddi said.

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