WATCH: First Mid-Michigan frontline workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— More than nine months since Michigan reported its first cases of COVID-19, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse at McLaren Greater Lansing, Dawn Chapel has received the vaccine in Mid-Michigan.

Dawn Chapel (RN) receives first Mid-Michigan COVID-19 vaccine

“I’m honored to be receiving the vaccine,” said Dawn Chapel, RN in the ICU at McLaren Greater Lansing. “I’m extremely hopeful for the future and very excited. This feels like a light coming from the darkness.”

Annie Everett, EVS tech, Chelsey Towns, RN, Lisa Sharp, Respiratory Therapist, Dr. Chintalapudi A. Kumar, MD, ICU also received the vaccine.

 “Our health care heroes have been courageously battling each wave of this virus for nearly a year,” said Dr. Linda Peterson, McLaren Greater Lansing Chief Medical Officer. “Now it is time we take the final fight to COVID-19.”

McLaren says they’ve received more than 900 doses of the vaccine, and plan to distribute them throughout the week.

The Pfizer vaccine was the first to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use and is made right here in Michigan. Another vaccine could also get approval as early as this week.

McLaren Health Care hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other subsidiaries surveyed their team members, medical staffs, and contract workers’ interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

McLaren then used that data and information from the vaccine producers to create a plan to immunize its health care workers. It is expected to take several weeks to immunize the health care workers affiliated with McLaren who indicated they want the vaccine due to the logistics of administering the shot, minimizing the number of caregivers who may experience side effects at one time, and the availability of doses from the pharmaceutical manufacturers. McLaren Health Care and Walgreens have also launched an innovative partnership where certain McLaren team members authorized to receive the vaccine in the initial distribution will be able to receive their vaccination at a nearby Walgreens store. The collaboration will expedite the immunization of McLaren team members and enhance safety by minimizing the number of team members required to go inside the hospital to receive their vaccinations.

“Walgreens is very proud to collaborate with McLaren on this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the true heroes who are on the frontlines of battling
COVID-19. This is an incredibly important step in an unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic,” said John Standley, president, Walgreens. 

Down the road at Sparrow Hospital, frontline workers will also begin receiving vaccinations this afternoon. In Jackson, Henry Ford also plans to distribute the vaccine this evening.

Video below shows vaccines being unboxed at both hospitals.

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