LODI, Calif. (KTXL) — Cavan Quam was one of hundreds of nurses, doctors and other hospital staff to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial on Wednesday.
Like a badge of honor, Quam showed off his bright yellow Band-Aid with zoo animals.
“I was one of the fortunate ones to be one of the first recipients of the vaccine,” the intensive care unit nurse told FOX40.
He said it’s a medical miracle that a vaccine is ready so soon and that he trusts that it’s safe, which is why he didn’t hesitate before volunteering to take it.
“This is the most responsible thing to do to get us past the pandemic,” Quam said.
After a brief shipping delay, 460 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to the hospital Wednesday morning.
Soon after, health care workers rolled up their sleeves, ready to get their first shot.
“We are in the biggest surge we’ve seen to date, and so it means just a big sigh of relief. It means security and safety for our staff and we’re very excited about that,” said Adventist Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patricia Iris.
Dr. Iris said Adventist Health, like other hospitals in the county, is being inundated with COVID-19 patients.
“Right now, COVID is the number one reason for mortality,” Iris said. “You are more likely to die of COVID than you are of heart failure or of a car accident or of suicide.”
She added that she is thankful to be able to protect herself and her staff, saying the vaccine is what they’ve all been waiting for.
“We’re working really long hours and seeing very difficult patients, and it takes its toll emotionally and physically and mentally,” she said. “But we’re hanging in there and this vaccine has given us this ray of hope.”
The hospital said they’re expecting another shipment of the vaccine next week.
Hundreds of more people will be able to get their first shot, and of course, everyone who got vaccinated Wednesday will get their second shot in 21 days.