CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah Frontline Workers Start Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec 14, 2020, 7:05 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 11:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered on Tuesday and doctors and nurses will be the first in line to receive it.

“I will choose to get it, yes,” said Jaime Woolstenhulme. “Not only to protect me, but also to protect all of those that I come in contact with.”

Woolstenhulme is a nurse who has seen a lot of very sick patients. She floats between six Utah hospitals, wherever there are shortages.

She’s among the first people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, hopefully this week or next.

“I’m a little bit nervous, just like anybody else, but I’ve done my research,” she said. “I know that this isn’t a new vaccine, that it’s been a vaccine that they’ve studied for a long time and I feel like it’s very safe.”

Heidi Belnap Nish is also a nurse. She works in maternity.

“I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is for people,” said Nish. “There’s been a lot of loss, a lot of effects long-term.”

But Heidi has an even different perspective about the vaccine.

“As someone who’s had COVID twice, I couldn’t be more excited about this vaccine because COVID sucks. I’m just going to be honest, COVID is horrible,” she said.

Nish first got COVID in May and then tested positive a second time in November.

Even though she’s considered recovered, she’s still dealing with side effects.

“I’m still fatigued. I have COVID brain fog,” she said. “I get winded really easily and still the unknown of what could happen is scary to me.”

The maternity nurse said she’s seen how scared people are when they get the virus, and for those who haven’t had COVID, she hopes they will never have to experience it.

“I feel choked up about it because as I said, I have a lot of family members. The majority of my family has not had it yet,” said Nish. “And I hope that they don’t have to.”

Nish and Woolstenhulme aren’t positive when they’ll be able to get the first dose of the vaccine, but they said hopefully it’s in the next week or two.

The nurses have been told there will be clinics set up at the hospital for health care workers to get the vaccine quickly and easily.

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