McDonough District Hospital officials said their staff is the first in the region to receive their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and they said they'll be better equipped to serve their patients because of it.
Dr. Jack McPherson was the first person in the county to get the first dose.
He now has his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but he said it will take some time to see the full benefit.
"So we still need to make sure we're protecting ourselves, we're still going to where PPE like we've always done, still going to do social distancing, still going to wear masks as we've done in the past," McPherson said. "Hopefully once we get millions of people vaccinated then we'll begin to get some freedom from this illness."
MDH Chief Nursing Officer, Wanda Foster, said 270 of their staff have received their second dose.
Foster said they were able to do six doses per vial and had a few left over.
She said they are working hand-in-hand with the health department to make sure no vaccinations go to waste.
"Having the vaccine for our staff helps us be able to maintain a strong work force to care for our patients. COVID and non-COVID patients," Foster said.
Foster said now they are shifting gears to prepare for Phase 1B.
"What will the logistics be, where would it be taking place. We actually had a discussion about that yesterday and today and are moving aggressively in getting a plan together," she said.
McPherson said until the vaccine is widely available, everyone must do their due diligence in following all CDC safety measures.
"Having been in the hospital and seeing people do really poorly with this illness, I would tell everybody who's at an kind of risk, that they're far better off being vaccinated than to have the disease it's self."
Foster said they are working closely with the McDonough County Health Department as they plan for what's to come in Phase 1B.