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Healthcare workers who treated Florida's first COVID-19 patient receive vaccine

Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 24, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. — Respiratory therapists and nursing staff at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota got the Moderna vaccine on Thursday.

This happening nearly 10 months to the day that Florida's first COVID-19 case was diagnosed at the Sarasota hospital in late February.

Staff says it’s been an emotional roller coaster of a year, but getting the vaccine on Christmas Eve is the perfect gift of hope.

"We didn’t really know what we were doing when we got the first patient. I had a great team that was able to put a lot of processes into place. It's kind of surreal that we’re getting the vaccine, and it's Christmas Eve," said Todd Haner, chief nursing officer at Doctor's Hospital.

After getting the shot, hospital workers wrote a note about why they got it and posted it to a wall to encourage others to get the vaccine when the time comes.

"Giving other people hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel," said Allison Mills, respiratory therapist at Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota.