FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado said he felt “great” afterwards.
Kevin Londrigan, a respiratory therapist at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, was the first person in Colorado to receive the Pfizer vaccine following FDA approval.
Londrigan, who has worked at the Loveland hospital for 20 years, was joined by several other healthcare workers at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and at UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs who also received the vaccine Monday.
Gov. Jared Polis was present during the inoculations in Fort Collins. Standing next to Londrigan, he congratulated the respiratory therapist after he received the shot.
“I want all our healthcare workers – I mean, can you imagine the precaution we all take avoiding covid? They’re (healthcare workers) with covid patients day in day out,” Polis said.
Londrigan works in the hospital’s ICU unit where 95% of his patients are positive for COVID-19, according to hospital officials.
After receiving the first vaccine, Londrigan had the following to say in response to “how do you feel?:” "Great," he said.
The third person in the state to receive the vaccine, and second at the Fort Collins hospital, was a nurse, Kelly Shaw.
“I’m really excited,” Shaw said. “Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”
The frontline workers who were given the first dose of the vaccine Monday will return in 21 days for the second dose.
Colorado received the first shipment of the vaccine around 8 a.m. Monday, just hours after the first shipments of the vaccine for widespread use in the United States begin rolling out of a Michigan Pfizer plant Sunday.
Polis — who was on hand to receive Colorado's first shipment, asked hospital administrators to confirm to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) of their plans to start issuing the vaccine and request support from the CDPHE if they need it.
It may take several days to get the doses to more rural areas in Colorado but officials say they expect smaller hospitals to have doses by mid-week.
High-risk people among the general population are expected to begin receiving the vaccine in the spring.
The Moderna vaccine is also expected to be approved this week, giving Colorado another 95,600 doses. But even though the vaccine is on its way for many healthcare workers, officials say it will be a few months at least until the general public has access.