St. Vincent Healthcare administered its 10,000th COVID-19 vaccination Friday morning.
Lew Morris, a U.S. Army veteran in his 80s, said that he had no idea that he would be receiving the milestone dose until he walked through the clinic doors with his wife. He said that he and his wife had been putting off getting the vaccine until they finally made an appointment with their doctor.
"It's kind of embarrassing. We put it off too long. We should have gone earlier. It's just one of those things that we had to do and we had to do it today," said Morris.
Morris said the vaccine is important and is something that people need to do to prevent further spread of the virus.
Now after more than 10,000 doses of the vaccine have been given to members of the community, St. V's is preparing to close its on-site vaccination clinic and gearing up to aid in the community vaccination clinic next week at Cedar Hall on MetraPark fairgrounds.
Jennifer Graves, senior director of clinical and support services at St. V's, said it's a bittersweet day knowing that the on-site vaccine clinic will be soon winding down. She says that the response from patients who have received the vaccine has been encouraging.
"The message that we have heard from our patients as they have been coming through to get the vaccine has really been one of hope. They are so excited to think that they might be able to get back to their activities and family members and things that they enjoyed doing before COVID. We have heard lots of touching stories over the course of those 10,000 doses," said Graves.
Graves said that next week, when St. V's joins community partners for the centralized community clinic, they hope to be able to scale up and offer more vaccinations as supply of the vaccine grows.