First vaccinated nurse in Butler County: ‘We should do everything we can’

UC Health’s West Chester Hospital was the first in Butler County to inoculate its frontline healthcare workers on Day 2 of the roll-out of the Pfizer novel coronavirus vaccine.

Kim Murphy, an ICU nurse at West Chester Hospital, was the first to receive the vaccine Tuesday morning at the Butler County hospital. She has seen death from the virus that has led to more than 300,000 deaths in the United States and more than 1.6 million worldwide since January.

Nearly 17 million in the United States and more than 72 million worldwide have been infected with the virus that forced pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine in record time.

“I feel the vaccination is the best route I should take as a person because I don’t want the COVID-19. I’d rather have the vaccine and not get the COVID-19,” said Murphy.

The Pfizer vaccine approved on Friday by the FDA is a two-part dose. Those receiving the first dose will get the second part of the vaccine in a couple of weeks.

Murphy said she and other healthcare workers are the model for the community to show the vaccine is safe as there are still questions surrounding the vaccine.

“They can see us getting it (the vaccine) and we’re going to be OK getting it, and so will they,” said Murphy, who has worked for UC Health for four years. “When we have diseases, viruses, bacteria that comes into our community, we should all stand together ... We should do everything we can do to prevent these diseases, viruses, bacteria.”

During Monday evening’s Lakota Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Matt Miller told the board he has been contacted by officials at West Chester Hospital about possibly using some of the district’s 22 buildings and campuses to provide coronavirus vaccine shots.

“UC Health has asked for two locations. One would be a drive-up location and one would be an inside location,” he said.

The school district would not be involved beyond “just hosting the locations,” said Miller. Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota, said the vaccinations would be for the public and not for students.

While the COVID-19 mortality rate is between 1 and 4 percent, it’s more than 10 percent among those who are hospitalized. More than 32,878 have been hospitalized in Ohio since March. There were 5,296 Ohioans hospitalized on Tuesday with COVID-19, and 1,311 in the ICU, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The state saw its second-highest number of daily reported COVID-19 hospitalizations at 614 reported Tuesday.

Even though the vaccine is a strong tool to fight the novel coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine said work still needs to happen to slow the spread.

“Unfortunately, Ohioans are still being hospitalized at record numbers today,” the governor said. “We now have more patients — just in the ICU ― than we had total for all COVID-19 hospitalized patients during our previous peak last summer.”

He said there are 863 patients who need a ventilator, and only 360 patients were on a ventilator a month ago. Unless the numbers turn around, the rest of December, January and February will “be hell,” DeWine said.

Dr. Roberto Colon, associate chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital and VP of Quality for Premier Health, said preventative measures like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand hygiene still need to be practiced because “we really need to strive to keep (people) out of the hospital and prevent them from getting sick from COVID-19.”

It could be several months before the general population will have a chance to be inoculated, he said.

DeWine said nearly 98,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were sent to Ohio this week, and a second batch of 123,000 is expected to arrive next week. The Moderna vaccine is up for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration later this week. Nearly 202,000 Moderna vaccines are expected to arrive in Ohio next week.

After Christmas, Ohio will get another 148,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer and 89,000 doses from Moderna.

“This is a historic moment for our community, our region and the nation,” said Dr. Richard P. Lofgren, UC Health president and CEO.


Listed are notable dates of during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Dec. 31, 2019: First report of the new virus out of China

Jan. 11, 2020: First reported death in Wuhan, China

Jan. 20: First reported case in the United States (Washington State)

Jan. 30: WHO declares a global health emergency

Feb. 2: First coronavirus death reported outside China (Philippines)

Feb. 11: The WHO names the new coronavirus COVID-19, an acronym for coronavirus disease 2019. It’s also referenced as SARS-CoV-2.

Feb. 29: First death in the United States (Washington State)

March 23: Ohio’s Stay at Home order is issued

April 2: 1 million cases worldwide reported

April 28: United States reports 1 million cases.

May 28: United States reports 100,000 deaths

June 10: United States reports 2 million cases

June 27: 10 million cases worldwide reported

July 23: United States reports 4 million cases

Aug. 10: 20 million cases worldwide reported

Sept. 21: United States reports 200,000 deaths

Sept. 28: 1 million worldwide deaths are reported

Oct. 16: United States reports 8 million cases

Oct. 19: 40 million cases worldwide reported

Nov. 15: United States reports 11 million cases

Dec. 8: United States reports 15 million cases

Dec. 11: 70 million cases worldwide reported

Dec. 11: The FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

Dec. 14: The first vaccines were administered in the United States outside of clinical trials

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