The first set of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to the hospitals on Thursday morning.

Staff at AHN Saint Vincent say this is an exciting moment that they’ve been preparing for.

The vaccines are being administered to the hospital’s front line workers, beginning tonight with those working in the COVID-19 unit. They plan to vaccinate their staff over the next six days.

“Now that’s it’s here, it’s almost hard to believe. We’re very excited. Now, the real work begins to get this vaccine out there and administered to our front line staff.” said Dr. Chris Clark, President of AHN Saint Vincent.

Front line workers received the Pfizer vaccine at UPMC Hamot Thursday afternoon. It comes as they’ve faced the virus for nearly ten months and now hopefully giving them a sense of relief.

The much anticipated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arriving to Erie County via UPS.

From the truck, the vaccine was taken down the halls of UPMC Hamot and into the freezer.

Then, applause echoed through UPMC Hamot as the first Pfizer vaccine is administered, marking a historic moment for the hospital.

Front line worker Tylesha Williams is thankful for the opportunity to show the milestone reached during the pandemic.

“I could be the voice for my friends, my family, community to say this is the way to go, this wasn’t bad.’ It’s going to good for our community and for nation.” Williams said.

The vaccine is a stride towards getting back to a sense of normalcy.

“I surely hope. I hope the vaccine is going to be a step to get there.” Williams said.

Both hospitals receiving 975 doses each. Epidemiologist Emily Shears says this is a step in the right direction giving front line workers another tool to fight the pandemic.

“There’s always a good reason to be concerned, but we have to stop this.” said Nancy Hayes, Senior. Nurse Professional at UPMC Hamot.

“I work in the ER and we get a lot of patients that we don’t know if they have COVID-19 or not. So, the more protection the better.” said Jeff Wisniewski, Advanced Patient Care Assistant at UPMC Hamot.

Wisniewski adding that he was not nervous to get the vaccine, but understands how some could be.

“If you’re confident in it, go out and get it. If you’re not, wait a couple of weeks and make your decision then. You’ve got to make it for yourself.” Wisniewski said.

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