Tri-Cities vaccinations begin with Kadlec health care providers

Michelle Twomey-Santiago, RN is pictured receiving one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Tri-Cities (Photo courtesy of Kadlec).

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Phase-1A of COVID-19 vaccinations is underway in the Tri-Cities as Kadlec health care workers have begun to receive vaccinations this week.

Kadlec is administering vaccinations based on the location and professional role of each health care professional within the network. Kadlec Acute Care Nurse Ashley Fleming was amongst the first health care professionals in the Tri-Cities to receive a dosage of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this week.

“It’s very exciting that the vaccine has become available. I work on the COVID acute care floor and we’ve been at this since March,” Fleming said. “It’s very humbling watching what these patients go through. I believe in this vaccine and the science behind it. I think it will be good for the community at large as it becomes available.

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Kadlec Acute Care Nurse Manager Michelle Twomey-Santiago also received a vaccination after tireless work to assist the Tri-Cities in combatting COVID-19.

“I look around the room and have an overwhelming sense of pride for this team and what we’ve done here for our patients,”  Twomey-Santiago said. “I wanted to be one of the first to set an example for my staff and all of the patients that are sick, and members of the community that the vaccine is safe. If you have apprehensions about the vaccine, reach out to your health care provider to get your questions answered.”

More doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should be on their way, though Gov. Jay Inslee announced that Washington’s allocation in the next shipment of supplies will be 40 percent less than expected.

While supplies may be limited with vaccine doses being reduced throughout the country, the Tri-Cities may finally see a light at the end of the tunnel cast by this pandemic.

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