Five Cheyenne Regional Medical Center employees were among the first people in Wyoming to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccines were given Tuesday afternoon in one of the hospital’s auditoriums with a few media personnel present. The five employees received doses of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, which is administered as two doses (three weeks apart) into a person’s muscle.
The five CRMC employees given the vaccine were: medical unit nurse Lan Whitaker, respiratory therapist Judy Jaspers, intensive care unit nurse Hayley Wasserburger, internist Dr. Hoo Feng Choo and internist/critical care specialist Dr. Sodienye Tetenta.
Jaspers said she only found out Tuesday morning, just a few hours before the vaccine was scheduled for injection, that she would be one of the first five staff members at the hospital to receive the vaccine.
She said she was very excited to receive it, noting that as someone who is married to a man who is considered high risk if he catches the virus, this vaccine was the blessing all of the employees had been waiting for.
“I’ve been bugging them about this vaccine, so I think that’s why I was one of the first five,” Jaspers joked. “I am the oldest of my department. I have a high-risk spouse at home. I work primarily in COVID ICU, so all I see all day long are COVID patients.”
Jaspers has managed to avoid catching the virus because she usually wears more than one mask when working and is strict about adhering to social distancing when necessary.
She knew that she would likely not feel well due to the vaccine on Wednesday, but she said the fatigue and other side effects would be worth it
CRMC CEO Tim Thornell said that starting early Wednesday morning, 100 more employees will receive the vaccine and vaccinations will continue for the rest of the week.
It is up to the discretion of each employee to receive the vaccine and is not required.