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Midlands healthcare workers reflect on COVID-19 vaccine six months later

Healthcare workers who were among the first to be vaccinated talked to News 19 about the vaccine six months later.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Friday, June 11, marked six months since the United States Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer emergency-use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Since then, 305,687,618 vaccines have been administered across the country. As of June 16th, nearly two million South Carolinians are now fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Vaccines best defense against more transmissible 'Delta' COVID variant, DHEC says

Healthcare workers who were among the first to be vaccinated talked to News 19 about how they're feeling six months later. Haleigh Orman, nurse manager at Lexington Medical Center's emergency room is one of them. 

Orman says the vaccine ensured safety. "I was nervous, yet excited. I was thrilled to get it. I felt it was a big accomplishment - protecting my family, protecting my patients." 

Orman says working in the ER, she saw the worst of COVID. "Taking care of patients daily with coronavirus, we needed to do everything we could to protect ourselves."

Orman says the pandemic, however, is not over. "We still see COVID patients weekly," she says. "There's a lot of myths out there that have been proven wrong. Continue to look at the facts and do what you can to protect your family members." 

RELATED: COVID hospitalizations in SC reach all-time pandemic low

According to DHEC, nearly two million South Carolinians have received their first vaccine. Upwards of 1,700,000 people have received their second dose. That's 39.8% of South Carolinians now fully vaccinated.

Dr. James Chapman with Lexington Family Practice remembers the moment he got his first vaccine. "So, I was a little nervous. I was one of the first million people."

Dr. Chapman is encouraging his patients to get vaccinated, reiterating what other health experts have said about immunization being the key to normalcy.

"I would really encourage people to consider getting the vaccine, because it might save their life or the life of a loved one," says Dr. Chapman.

Both Chapman and Orman say they're feeling great, and that they experienced very minimal side effects after getting the vaccine.

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