After months of waiting, the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are administered at AHN Saint Vincent.

Staff at Saint Vincent say they have been preparing for this day a long time.

“It’s a ray of hope right now; our community needs it, the world needs it. With this shot being done, me first, I am truly honored to have it done. I can’t say anything more about it,” said Hermin Brown, customer service, AHN St. Vincent.

The two shot series will require a second dose in 21 days. The Pfizer vaccine includes five doses per vile, and will be stored at negative 70 degrees Celsius.

Frontline workers say receiving the vaccine is a step in the right direction, especially after waiting more than nine months.

“The more of us that are vaccinated, the more of us are protected against virus, and are going to allow us to provide better care to our patients and decrease the severity of cases in Erie County,” said Matt Kirby, RN, intensive care unit, AHN.

Kirby says he knows some are skeptical, but feels confident about the vaccine and that anyone on the fence should do their research about how this could put an end to the pandemic.

200 frontline employees at AHN are expected to receive the vaccine each day.

UPMC Hamot is also in the process of vaccinating their frontline workers.

The first shots came shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. This, after the vaccine arrived earlier that morning.

We spoke with Nancy Hayes, a nursing professional, about why she believes getting the vaccination is so important.

“I think that we need to make sure that a lot of other people are getting vaccinated. It’s still only, from my understanding, 95% effective. So there’s still always that small percentile; I want to be as safe as possible,” said Nancy Hayes, Nurse Professional.

UPMC Health Network plans on vaccinating their entire staff by the end of January.