First Lehigh Valley health care workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Written by on December 17, 2020

First Lehigh Valley health care workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine

By Jen Rehill

December 17, 2020

LVHN front-line nurse Chantal Branco receives the first COVID-19 vaccine through Emergency Use Authorization. LVHN Dr. Yozviak answered during Facebook Live.
Listen to the story.

COVID-19 vaccines arrived today in the Lehigh Valley – and the first shots have been given – marking a historic turning point for the Valley’s fight against the virus. 

The excitement and emotion among health care workers was absolutely palpable as the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived via UPS truck at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem.

Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, Senior Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs and Section Chief Emeritus of Infectious Diseases at St. Luke’s University Hospital. was also one of the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday. Photo courtesy of St. Luke’s.

Nearby, at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, LVHN hosted a Facebook live event for the first vaccination – given to a critical care nurse. 

As people snapped photos, Chantal Branco talked about being the first in line. 

“It’s very humbling, I’m very honored to be chosen as the first one. I’m very, very excited for this day.”

Then she rolled up her sleeve and took the shot.

Branco said it’s been hard treating and losing some of the sickest patients she’s ever seen over the past 10 months. But for one nurse, and her colleagues across the Lehigh Valley — today was all about hope — and relief — as the end of the pandemic came into sight.

Watch the full LVHN Facebook Live event below.

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