UTMB administers first doses of coronavirus vaccine to frontline workers

GALVESTON, Texas – The first coronavirus vaccine has arrived in the Houston area, including UTMB Galveston and other local hospitals.

Frontline workers at UTMB were among the first to receive the vaccination, about three hours after the hospital received its shipment of the Pfizer vaccine.

A nurse who has been working with coronavirus patients was the first UTMB employee to receive the shot, followed by an intensive care unit doctor.

“The shot didn’t hurt more than any other shot,” said nurse Roy Christian. “I’m excited to get it done and move on.”

For me, what the vaccine truly means is that I have another tool in my toolkit,” said Dr. Shawn Nishi. “I don’t think it’s the cure. I don’t think it’s the end of this pandemic, unfortunately, but it does give me hope.”

Officials at UTMB said about 100 people received the vaccine Tuesday, but vaccinations will ramp up as they develop a workflow.

As the vaccine begins to make its way to Houston and across the US, it will likely be months before doses are widely available for everyone at U.S. drugstores and doctors’ offices.

Details are still being worked out, but officials expect widespread availability by the middle of next year, and even with vaccination, you’ll still need to take precautions, like wearing a mask and social distancing, health officials say.

The first frontline worker at UTMB Health to get the coronavirus vaccine says he's excited to get the shot.

About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.