CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Car after car, healthcare workers lined up in a makeshift drive through clinic at the Cheatham County Health Department.
“I think people have been touched by it personally,” said Neely Anderson, a registered nurse and the department’s nursing supervisor. “They know family or friends or church members that have gotten very sick. So, they see it first hand and they don’t want to get sick. Not to mention, our hospitals are kind of nearing capacity.”
Anderson says people are asked a series of questions before they are vaccinated, including where they work.
“Healthcare workers, first responders, developmental disabilities, residential staff, home health care, people like that,” Anderson explained.
Once they are cleared for vaccination, the drug is administered into their left arm while seated in their car.
“It comes frozen and then refrigerated,” said Anderson. “It has to thaw out for 15 minutes so we put it on a timer and don’t use it until it’s been 15 minutes.”
Once the shot is administered, each patient has to wait 15 minutes for any possible signs of an allergic reaction.
“Rash, itching, shortness of breath, tightness in your throat, things like that,” said Anderson.
News 2 asked some of the healthcare workers why they were getting vaccinated.
“I was on the fence either way,” said Yolanda Maness, a counselor at Cumberland Heights, a drug and alcohol rehab facility near Ashland City.
She says the decision wasn’t easy. But it all boiled down to one thing: her patients.
“I work with patients who are high risk,” said Maness. “They are a very vulnerable population. Their health can be — serious health issues coming in for addiction treatment. And I thought, we’ll for their protection this helps them.”
“When you look at the big scope of things, hopefully if enough people get the vaccine, they can start opening the country back up more. Businesses can open back up,” said Maness. “That’s what I’m really truly hoping for.”
For Jamie Witt, he had a different reason…. but, one that’s just as generous.
“The most important reason to do it, I would imagine, if we’re dealing with anything that could cause harm or spread something to somebody else, we can take advantage of the situation,” said Witt, who is a volunteer firefighter for Pleasant View.
Witt says he chose to get vaccinated to make sure his colleagues and the families he serves are all safe.
“We have to make sure everything is… you’re wearing a mask, you wearing gloves to every situation,” said Witt. “You’re wearing the proper respirators to call and making sure that your fellow firefighters and their families are safe.”
Metro Nashville Public Health Department will begin giving out vaccinations Monday.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )