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COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Nurse Who Received Vaccine Calls Experience An 'Honor'

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- As the death toll across the United States reached 300,000 on Monday, health care workers in Pittsburgh received the first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

KDKA's Meghan Schiller talked to one of those health care workers who believes there is hope down the line. The first doses of the vaccine rolled into Pittsburgh on Monday, and UPMC ICU nurse Christian Schott felt the pinch within hours.

Coronavirus vaccine
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"The vaccines were delivered in the morning. They were prepared by the pharmacy team downstairs and eventually made their way upstairs, where some of us were vaccinated," Schott said.

Schott is working tirelessly at UPMC Passavant, caring for coronavirus patients around the clock.

"I work in the medical and surgical ICU at Passavant," he said. "We are currently normally a 16-bed unit. We've expanded a little bit due to our recent surge with COVID patients."

KDKA's Meghan Schiller asked him to describe a typical day in the ICU.

"Whether it's assessing patients, managing them on ventilators, giving lifesaving medications, supporting their needs, talking to their family, keeping them informed," said Schott.

So when UPMC invited him to be one of the first in line, he stepped up.

"I'm thankful. I think it's an honor. I hope that my experience, I can share that with others and maybe be an advocate for this vaccine also," Schott said.

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He's hopeful the vaccine will save lives, ease fears and lessen the strain on his fellow health care workers.

"If there are still doubts, all you have to do is look around," Schott said. "COVID is very real. It is very dangerous and it is life-threatening, especially to the right population."

Schott said the vaccine is not going to change any part of his routine at work. But he will have peace of mind as he continues to work those long hours in the hospital.

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