KALISPELL — It was a historic day in the fight against COVID-19 as healthcare workers in Kalispell received the first round of vaccines for the virus.
It was a busy morning for Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) where the distribution of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine started early.
The vaccinations started at 6 a.m. at six different immunization stations at Kalispell Regional Healthcare and will continue until 8 p.m. Thursday night.
Health care workers receiving the vaccine were observed for 15 minutes after immunization.
KRH received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday with the distribution of the vaccine scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
KRH Nurse Practitioner Chelsea Dunshee says she was excited to be one of the first health care workers at KRH to receive the vaccine.
"I just really felt compelled to try to be one of the first ones to do this because I’m so looking forward to being able to say this is an unprecedented time,” Dunshee said. “And I did what I could to protect myself and others to the best of my abilities.”
KRH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Doug Nelson says the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine being distributed could be a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19.
“You know it’s our first real opportunity to really have an intervention in this disease other than what we’ve been doing thus far in terms of social distancing and masking but the Pfizer vaccine which has an emergency use authorization could be a real game-changer, it’s felt to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19,” Dr. Nelson.
KRH was selected as one of Montana’s first hospitals to receive the vaccine due to its cold storage unit which has the capacity to hold more than 26,000 doses.