RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s been in the making for nine months.
“I get in my car to drive here and it really hit, the weight of it, that this is monumental,” said Dr. Steve Dick, the Director of Emergency Medicine at Monument Health. “What a momentous occasion.”
Last week, Monument Health in Rapid City made the announcement that they would administer the first Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in western South Dakota.
On Monday afternoon, that goal came true.
He was the first person to be vaccinated in this half of the state, something he certainly isn’t taking lightly.
“It was more excitement of knowing what I was participating in than the thought of the shot itself,” Dick said. “When I got it, it’s just this, it’s kinda like hearing people talk about their lives flash in front of them. Just the last months of my team, the fear, the isolation, the stress, it just felt good.”
He was of one of five emergency department doctors and nursing staff at Monument Health to receive the vaccine. He and the others must return in 21 days for their next dose.
In the coming days, other healthcare and frontline workers will line up to also make history. Although it is a step towards ceasing the spread of COVID-19, this vaccine could mean much bigger things than to just help stop the spread of the virus.
“This technology – by proving its ability – is going to lead us to cures like cures for cancer, vaccines for HIV, and these are all real,” Shankar Kurra, the VP of Medical Affairs at Monument Health. “They are actually in the pipeline as we speak.”
One big day in history, hopefully leading to many more.