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5 front-line healthcare workers first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky

Gov. Beshear was at UofL Hospital to watch as five front-line health care workers got the COVID-19 vaccine.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and local health officials were at UofL Hospital Monday to watch as five front-line health care workers received the first COVID-19 vaccines administered in the state.

"Today is a historic day in the commonwealth – we are at the beginning of the end of our war with COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear.

The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccines arrived in Louisville Sunday, with UPS delivering the first box of vaccines to UofL Health at around 9:30 a.m. Monday. Kentucky will receive more than 12,000 vials distributed between 11 hospitals. Three of those hospitals are in Metro Louisville.

"Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. To our front-line workers: we are forever grateful for your bravery, talents and compassion," Gov. Beshear said.

The first five front-line healthcare workers to receive the vaccine at UofL Hospital were Dr. Jason Smith, Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, Dr. Mohamad Saad, LaShawn Scott, RN and Beth Sum, Rn. The vaccines were administered by Sarah Bishop, RN.

“This is the first time it feels like we are doing something proactive instead of reactive," said Dr. Smith, who was the first to be vaccinated. “We’ve got a chance to interrupt this virus cycle starting today.”

Health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine. When additional shipments arrive, first responders and staff in health care facilities can then take the vaccine.

UofL Health officials said they have already created a list of employees and patients who are eligible for the hospital's nearly 1,000 doses of the vaccine. Baptist Health is expected a similar shipment by Tuesday.

Norton Healthcare will receive roughly 2,000 doses — the most in the city.

"My understanding is there is 6.5 million doses released first go around, and that will be spread across the country and we'll be able to continue our roll out based on exposure risk," said Dr. Joseph Flynn with Norton Healthcare.

RELATED: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrives at UPS Worldport

RELATED: Beshear marks significance of COVID-19 vaccine arrival in Kentucky, previews distribution plan

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