'It's a big deal for America': Fresno Kaiser doctor fights back tears after receiving COVID-19 vaccine

"I'm very proud that this active community developed this new technique and technology," said Dr. John Gasman.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More doses of coronavirus prevention are being administered in the Valley.

On Thursday, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fresno gave the first shots from its supply to frontline care providers including nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists.

COVID-19 nurse Julianna Day was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Kaiser on Thursday.

"I'm actually more nervous about getting COVID than getting the vaccine. I would definitely recommend everyone else when they have the ability to get the vaccine," said Day.

Even while wearing a mask, Dr. John Gasman was visibly emotional and fought back tears after receiving the vaccination.

"It's a big deal for America, it's a big deal for the world. I'm very proud that this active community developed this new technique and technology," said Dr. Gasman.

The first shipment of the vaccine arrived at Kaiser after California reported more than 38,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone.

The San Joaquin region, like most of the state, is also struggling with record level hospitalizations.

"It doesn't mean we're out of the woods, this is one step over the line...there's light at the end of the tunnel but the tunnel goes on. It's going to be into the summer before everyone is vaccinated," said Dr. Gasman.

Along with the Pfizer vaccine, Fresno County is expected to receive nearly 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of December.

Commercial pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens are also preparing to receive shipments of the vaccine later this month.

"Now we need to get it to the whole population, because a couple of frontline workers don't make a difference but 80% of the population makes a difference," said Gasman.
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