IOWA CITY, Iowa – The vaccine arrived at the University of Iowa hospital at 7:30 a.m. in a FedEx refrigerated truck, and it wasn't long before the first dose was in the arms of David Conway, 39, a nurse in the Emergency room, was injected.
"I'm not nervous, I'm very excited," he said afterwards. "I've been looking forward to the vaccine since March."
Mr Conway, who works directly with Covid-19 patients, said the shot was painless but was given at the start of a few days off, just in case there were short-term side effects. Some recipients in clinical trials have reported feeling sick for a day or two, and Mr. Conway won't be back at work until Saturday.
"I look forward to when my wife and children can get the vaccine," he said.
According to Suresh Gunasekaran, the hospital's executive director, the hospital is expected to vaccinate 130 people on Monday and continue until all 975 doses in the show are used. Each recipient is then observed for 15 minutes to look for allergic reactions.
Gunasekaran said the hospital plans to eventually vaccinate all 17,000 of its employees but doesn't yet know when the next shipment from Pfizer will arrive. If a similar vaccine is approved by Moderna, the hospital expects access to many more doses.
Mr. Conway was wearing street clothes, a mask and plastic face shield and said the shot was no reason to stop wearing a mask, wash your hands frequently, or keep social distance. "I won't do anything else until everyone is vaccinated," he said.