A North Texas emergency room nurse was the first in her immediate family to receive the COVID-19 vaccine -- but the moment was no less special.
Carmen Thach has been a nurse for 10 years, about five of which she's spent as an ER nurse. Nursing is not a just job but a calling, Thach said.
She said the past nine months at her Fort Worth hospital have featured a "learning curve" for frontline workers like her.
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“ER nursing is very ‘go with the flow.' Things change all the time. Just got to take what comes at you. This has definitely challenged that with changes in process and procedures varying from shift to shift, even. It’s like ER nursing on steroids,” she said. “We are all learning and working hard to figure out what we’re doing and how to best take care of ourselves, our families, as well as our patients and our community.”
She was vaccinated Thursday and posted her daughter’s reaction on Facebook when she told her.
“What else do you think about the COVID vaccine?” Thach can be heard asking on the video.
“It’s amazing! I’m so happy!” her daughter answered, adding it “might take away corona."
When Thach asked what she meant by that, her daughter answered “it means we’re going to be safe!”
Thach said the moment made her proud, both as a nurse working on the frontlines during the pandemic and as a mother.
"We also tell the kids when they get their shots, what they’re getting their shots for and why. It’s for preventing diseases. For example, I had chickenpox and they won’t because they received the vaccine, and that’s amazing," she said. “I was shocked and very pleasantly surprised my oldest really comprehended what it meant. When this [COVID-19 vaccine] came about, I was like, 'You guys, this is monumental. It’s history.’”
Thach said the decision to get vaccinated came down to the benefits outweighing the risks.
“I’ve got small kids at home. My husband works. I also spend time taking care of my elderly grandmother who has dementia,” she said.
Once the vaccine becomes available to the general public, Thach said families will ultimately have to determine what’s best for them. However, until then, she’s urging people to continue to take precautions.
“Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe,” she said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas is expecting to receive 620,000 doses of the vaccine this week. A spokesperson said Friday the state was instructing the CDC to ship the vaccine to more than 1,100 providers in 185 Texas counties over the next week.
The CDC will deliver 460,500 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna and 159,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to continue to vaccinate front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, a press release states.
For a full list of vaccines going to Texas hospitals, click here.