Ohio State Wexner Medical Center began administering shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday, officials said.
The shipment arrived around 9:15 a.m. Monday and put through a thawing process. The first vaccine shots were administered at 10:45 a.m. to emergency department and intensive care unit Wexner employees, said Dr. Andrew Thomas, the hospital's chief clinical officer.
"It was a pretty momentous occasion, and a really good feeling that that this maybe the end of the beginning of the pandemic and that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Thomas said.
Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the state from Wexner Monday morning after watching the vaccine arrive, calling it a historic event. The first shots at Wexner were administered around 10:45 a.m.
Second in line to receive the vaccine was UC Health. That shipment was arriving around 11:00 a.m., DeWine said.
“This really is the day we’ve been waiting for. It starts the process of the end. We know the end is a long way off, but the end now is in sight," he siad."
Ten Ohio hospitals are administering the first vaccine doses to health care workers, first immunizing hospital workers in COVID-19 wards. The other eight hospitals will receive their shipments Tuesday, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.
Tarin Warns, a nurse at Ohio State, is among the first in Ohio to get the vaccine today at Wexner. Says she hopes this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. "My unit has been really affected.. it’s been very overwhelming, very tiring, very said." @SpectrumNews1 pic.twitter.com/SVpXrlp2BQ— Pete Grieve (@pete_grieve) December 14, 2020
Ohio's long-term care facilities are expected to begin immunizations on Dec. 21. CVS and Walgreens are administering those immunizations on site.
Pfizer began shipping packages of the vaccine Sunday for distribution across the country.
The Pfizer vaccine and Moderna's vaccine, which is expected to be approved next, are two-dose regiments.
But Ohio is not holding half of its doses back. It is administering the vaccine as it arrives and will use later shipments for second shots.
More than 650,000 residents of Ohio could be immunized for COVID-19 in December as Moderna and Pfizer shipments arrive.
After the first shipment of Pfizer, more vaccine is expected around Dec. 22, when DeWine is told 201,000 Moderna doses and 123,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine will arrive, the first test for Ohio to see how efficiently the state can administer mass quantities of vaccine.
That large Moderna shipment was expected to be distributed to health departments around the state. The local health departments will be responsible for administering shots to emergency medical responders and other first responders.
The last vaccine shipment of the month, scheduled for around Dec. 29, is expected to bring 148,000 Pfizer doses and 89,000 Moderna doses.
The governor said he is excited to watch the vaccination process advance in the state.
"Every day as we go forward from here we’ll see more and more people get vaccinated. It’s really going to kick up," he said.
The governor watched the first shots on his iPad with First Lady Fran DeWine. He will hold a press conference today at 3:00 p.m. after the first shots are administered.
Ohio State is monitoring its employees for a longer period of time as a precaution for any adverse reactions.
"You do need to wait, that's going to be one of the requirements wherever you go to get vaccinated," Thomas said. "We're being a little conservative and having that time be a little longer for the first couple of days."