CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia COVID-19 task force was among the first group of people in the state to receive the first batch of the virus vaccine.
The other group to receive vaccinations, are front line workers.
Doctors… and nurses.
Thomas Health was the first healthcare facility in the state to administer the vaccine to its employees, and will soon be followed by other health care facilities.
“Hopefully if all goes well, the vaccine will roll out in my institution for front line workers this week,” said Luke Velickoff, a cardiovascular ICU nurse based in Morgantown.
Velickoff also works at a free clinic in Clarksburg in his offtime. So he’s seen the virus; from both critical care and public health levels.
“I feel that with everything I’ve seen, and patients that I’ve worked with directly, it’s a no brainer,” he said. “I will absolutely be getting the vaccine.”
Velickoff adds, he doesn’t want to take it for himself, but for those around him.
“Since March, since all of this… my concern has never been myself getting sick,” he said. “As weird as that sounds. My concern is being a carrier. Being the reason that COVID is spread amongst my patients, amongst my family, and that’s a fear I’ve had to live with and deal with for many many months.”
Velickoff says he knows there are risks; and fear of those risks is influencing some of his coworkers.
And on a national level, the fear is there too.
Ipsos found in a survey, that 40% of Americans will get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available, where 44% will wait to get it until more information comes out, and 15% will never get it.
That study can be found here.
“For me, I trust research,” said Velickoff. “I trust science. And the benefits outweigh the risks.”