CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines have made its way to Mercy Medical Center.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic received the first doses Tuesday morning.
The first shot was given to respiratory nurse, Angie Hawker.
Hawker has been with Mercy Medical Center for 25 years.
She's one of the roughly 2,000 employees that are in a prioritized group for the vaccine.
"We start with the people that are directly taking care of the COVID patients and people that are at higher risk based on exposure through aerosolized procedures or emergency care and we're working through it that way," said Vice President of medical affairs for Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Tony Myers.
Chief hospitalist, Gordon Baustian, didn't hesitant to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.
"My team, we take care a vast majority of the COVID patients," Baustian said.
Along with registered nurse, Claire Holt. She works in Mercy's intensive care unit.
"I'm working at the bedside with the sickest of the sick COVID patients to the ones that need a little bit of oxygen to get through," shared Holt.
Baustian says the last nine months have been eye opening.
"To see so many people suffering, to see so many people dying it's just takes me back to 1918 to think about what it must've been back then when they had nothing to do and people were just dying left and right," Baustian said.
Only a total of 975 doses arrived at the center Tuesday.
Medical officials say at least 250 of those doses were given throughout the day.
"It's like a light at the end of the tunnel. It's just a great day so that we can get ahead of this pandemic," Baustian shared.