Children's Wisconsin health staff latest to get COVID-19 vaccines

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Children's Wisconsin is the latest health care system to begin vaccinating staff members against COVID-19.

Gwen Lea is their first nurse to get a shot.

She cares for children who have sickle cell anemia.

She hopes her experience with the vaccine can ease her patients, and their families', fears.

"I hope it will ease some of their parents' fears, a lot of our parents are not wanting to get the vaccine, and that's maybe because I know a lot of African Americans are leery of getting it," said Lea.

Lea said the government needs to do a better job building trust among minority populations about the vaccine. She said she can serve as living proof for the families she helps care for.

"I do hope with the families that I deal with if they know that I got it, that they would be willing to do so, and if they know that I've done fine with it, my hope is that they'll be willing to get the vaccine as well," said Lea.

She didn't even know Thursday morning that she'd be first. She just got a message asking if she'd be willing to get vaccinated Thursday afternoon.

"It was exciting, but also it was a relief knowing that I did something that eventually was going to make things better for everybody," said Lea.

Lea hopes the families she works with can breath a bit easier now that vaccines are being given out and there's finally a way out of this pandemic.

"Many of our patients are scared, their families are scared, not knowing if they'll get it or not knowing how they'll do if they get it," said Lea.

She is scheduled to get her second shot in January.

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