KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A year to the day since the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, leaders are saying they’ve come a long way. A video was shared early Friday morning in celebration.
On Dec. 17, 2020 UT Medical Center received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as part of the state’s vaccination plan. Among those who were vaccinated first included health care workers, hospital staff, home care staff, first responders and COVID-19 testing site staff.
At the time, the reported death toll was nearing 300,000 people as the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history rolled out. The majority of health care workers expressed relief and hope. Shipments of the frozen vials of the Pfizer vaccine and its German partner BioNTech were transported under guard and with care to select hospitals across the country.
“One year ago today, we received our first allocation of the Pfizer vaccine here at The University of Tennessee Medical Center,” a social media post states. “We are honored to have contributed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in East Tennessee over the past year. We want to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our team members and community to get where we are today! This video takes a look back at all we have done together in the past 12 months to shine a light on how far we have come.”
UT Medical isn’t the only group celebrating the 1-year anniversary of COVID vaccines in Tennessee. Yesterday, the state health department released a celebratory message commending the milestone and that more than 8 million Tennesseans have been vaccinated within the last year.
Nexstar Media Wire and The Associated Press contributed to this report.