1st Ascension caregivers receive COVID-19 vaccine; 'Hopefully at the beginning of the end'

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The first caregivers at Ascension Wisconsin received COVID-19 vaccines Thursday, Dec. 17. 

A pulmonologist was the first Ascension employee out of five to get the vaccine Wednesday, Dec. 16, during a dry run at a clinic started Thursday for their employees. 

"Relief," said Dr. Joseph Weber, pulmonologist who received COVID-19 vaccine first. "I mean it's just the things we've been dealing with in the ICU and on the floors and in the community and everywhere. It feels fantastic to be one of the first."

The healthcare workers are breathing a sigh of relief after getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 

"We’re now finally hopefully at the beginning of the end," said Dr. Weber. 

The vaccine is just starting to roll out and they say they know there is still a long road ahead. 

"Now that we are starting this process we can start turning this thing around," said Dr. Weber. 

By getting the vaccine early, Ascension employees are hoping it sends a message. 

"Hopefully to empower others to do the same and as a nurse it’s our job is to take care of others and take care of ourselves too," said Lori George, ICU nurse. 

Ascension officials ay they are strongly encouraging their employees to get the vaccine as it becomes more widely available. The vaccine will be offered to them at no cost. 

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