TULSA, Okla. — After months of waiting, the coronavirus vaccine is working it's way through Oklahoma.
Vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna are in circulation across the state. The Oklahoma State Department of Health said it's distributing 123,000 doses.
One message that Angie Hughes, a nurse at St. Mary's, is sharing with all Oklahomans is "protect yourselves and protect others." Her husband, Shawn Hughes, is recovering from COVID-19 and learned that lesson the hard way.
Shawn told 2 Works for You, "It was like a truck hit me. I didn't want to move."
Angie said her husband looked past the dangers the coronavirus poses until he was exposed.
Shawn Hughes came down with COVID-19 in October. He spent 17 days at St. Mary's intensive care unit, and two of those weeks, he was hooked up to a ventilator.
While he was able to recover from the coronavirus and he's now breathing independently, the lasting effects of COVID-19 still linger in his lungs.
"It is the most helpless feeling not to be able to be there for your family to hold their hand, even if they're on the ventilator to tell them that they're going to be okay, to tell them that somebody is here," Angie said.
The arrival of a vaccine helps Shawn rest a little easier. Like Angie, frontline hospital workers are scheduled to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine soon if they haven't already.
Shawn's hoping those who helped save him don't have to suffer the way he did.
The director of St. Mary's Pharmacy told 2 Works for You, "I encourage everyone to talk to their doctors, so daycare workers, teachers, caretakers, if you're taking care of the elderly. If you're living with a high-risk person, it's extremely important to talk to a doctor about getting this vaccine when it becomes widely available."
Because the vaccines can have different reactions to individuals, health officials suggest consulting a physician about the vaccine once it's widely available.
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