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Primary Health receives COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 12:30 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 11:46:48-05

BOISE, Idaho — Healthcare workers at Primary Health Medical Group started receiving their COVID-19 vaccines Friday. As we have reported in the past, Primary Health has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, administering more than 75,000 COVID-19 tests to the public.

“Over the past nine months, we have been under extraordinary pressure to treat our patients and keep our staff safe," said Dr. David Peterman, CEO of Primary Health Medical Group. "Our teams have administered more than 75,000 COVID-19 tests, largely on symptomatic patients. At times, we’ve had to close clinics because too many staff are out sick or were exposed to COVID-19 in the community. Today we are incredibly excited to have received vaccine so we can begin the process of protecting our staff and providers. There is such a sense of optimism and hope, and we appreciate the kind words from those outside health care who support us. I’ve never seen so many teary eyes as when I tell someone the vaccine is here, it’s ready. You can’t see it, but I have an enormous smile on my face. Today is an exciting day.”

Sharra Crawford, LPN, was the first employee to receive the vaccine Friday morning and she described it as "quick and painless."

“The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the first things to really give me hope this year," said Crawford. "I’ve worked throughout the pandemic so I haven’t been able to be around my parents without a mask, and with it being so widespread in the Valley, I’m not going inside their home at all right now. I can’t wait to be able to hug them safely and not have to worry about whether I might harm them. For anyone unsure about the vaccine, I would say educate yourself, and when you’re ready and comfortable with the decision, that’s when you should get it.”

Primary Health plans to offer the vaccine to other healthcare workers, essential workers and the general public based on priority lists outlined by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and vaccine availability. Primary Health will reach out to each group when scheduling for the vaccine is available, according to a news release.