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"We're all feeling, really, a buzz, because it's actually here" | Health care workers excited vaccine has arrived in Hamilton County

After all that 2020 has encompassed, those on the front lines of the pandemic said the vaccine brings some “light at the end of the tunnel.”

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Riverview Health said once the packages of the initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine are opened, staff has one minute to get them into the refrigerator.

“Today was very exciting,” said Madeline Larsen, a registered nurse and the director of Organizational Improvement and Infection Prevention for Riverview Health. 

The first doses of the vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19 are in Hamilton County, and health care workers are ecstatic.  

“We are feeling, really, a buzz today because it’s actually here, it’s in the freezer and we’re ready to get them in the arms of our health care workers,” said Larsen.  

After all that 2020 has encompassed, those on the front lines said the vaccine brings some “light at the end of the tunnel.” 

“This has been a very dark year, I think, for health care,” said Larsen.  

But the arrival of the initial dose of the vaccine for many on the front lines is what they have all been “hoping for - to be able to help add another tool to stopping this pandemic.” 

Larsen will be among the first group of health care workers to administer the initial dose of the vaccine to frontline workers on Friday.  

“I’m sure I’m going to have a hard time sleeping tonight from excitement,” she said. “I had a hard time sleeping last night from excitement."

Every ten minutes Friday morning, she and four others will be vaccinating a pre-registered frontline worker who resides in Hamilton County or works at Riverview Health. 

“It’s emotional. It’s very emotional. I have gone through periods of jitters and just I can’t wait. We’ve all been very busy, but any moment I get to stop and recognize that this is happening and my friends and colleagues are going to be vaccinated tomorrow, I’ve cried a few times, and I’m sure I’m going to cry tomorrow,” said Larsen. 

For many health care workers, Friday's first dose is about more than just making history, it’s about finally being “able to start protecting each other,” said Larsen.  

For the health care workers who have sacrificed so much and only asked people to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands, this is one step toward protecting the front line.  

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