Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

COVID Vaccine Is 'Hope' According To One Greater Cincinnatian Administering It

St. Elizabeth pharmacy supervisor Suzi Francis isn't eligible to get the COVID vaccine yet and is now giving it to hundreds of high-risk heathcare workers at her hospital.

What's it like to administer the COVID vaccine but not be able to get it yourself right now? A St. Elizabeth Hospital pharmacy supervisor, in the midst of giving the shot to high-risk health care workers this week, says she's studied the vaccine and is confident and excited about when she and her family can get it.

Pharmacist Suzi Francis says St. E will likely be out of its first 975 doses by early next week.

The boxes arrived Tuesday morning and since then, Francis and her team have been administering the COVID-19 vaccine at hospital clinics. She says about 85% of those eligible to take it signed up. "They were ready and waiting and volunteering."

Credit St. Elizabeth Hospital
St. Elizabeth Hospital
Pharmacist Suzi Francis administers the vaccine to nurses, doctors and others in close contact with COVID patients. Pictured here is Lee Ann Ernst, who is the nurse supervisor of our infectious disease response team (IDRT) getting the vaccine.

Thursday Francis expects to vaccinate 300 people in Ft. Thomas and Edgewood. Wednesday she was in Florence and Friday will be in Crittenden and then go back to Edgewood.

"It's kind of like when you've been working day in and day out for nine months, you start to think, 'Will this ever end?' And with scientists and health care providers you know what vaccines mean to especially infectious disease and to the community and so, this is just hope," she says.

The second round of the vaccine will begin in three weeks at St. E.

Dr. Dora Savani, medical director of St. E's infectious disease response team received the first dose. St. E Spokesman Guy Karrick says Savani's team has been treating patients with COVID in three shifts 24/7 since the first patient in March.

The only other Greater Cincinnati hospital to receive the vaccine this week was UC Health.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.