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Nurse describes getting COVID vaccine at Everett hospital that treated first US case

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The first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States was treated at Everett’s Providence Regional Medical Center, and now, health care workers at that very same hospital are receiving vaccines.

Among those at Providence who have recently received the first of two vaccine doses is nurse Seth Fikkert, who shed light on his experience to Greg Tomlin, filling in for the Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio.

Fikkert, like many of his fellow medical professionals in the Puget Sound region, has been on the frontlines of the COVID crisis since Day 1. That made it that much more of a significant moment for him when it was his turn to get the vaccine.

“It was a lot of emotions,” he described. “What this means for our community and my patients and the potential to slow the spread of this thing, I mean, all of those things, they’re just profoundly exciting.”

His own experience has been one full of highs and lows. For the former, that includes an “overwhelming” amount of support from the local community, ranging from neighbors showing up at his door to donate N95 masks, to restaurants bringing free food to the hospital.

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The low points, though, were fueled by “infighting and mistrust” in public health officials and medical professionals that led to near-constant conflict across the country.

“You know, all of the times where we could have been working together and weren’t,” Fikkert said. “To see the negative results of that kind of over and over again was pretty draining.”

That said, the mere existence of the vaccine represents the anthesis of that struggle, he points out.

“This vaccine is kind of an example of a bunch of people … from different countries, who just came together, shared information, worked very hard, worked together, and we were able to do something pretty extraordinary,” he detailed.

“Looking at really solving this issue, I think the vaccine is a profound weapon and should be used by anybody who could get their arm on it,” he added.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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