Front line workers at Carilion, LewisGale get first COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — COVID-19 numbers continue to worsen in our region. 

Numbers for the “Near Southwest Region” of Virginia — which includes the areas served by Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, Sovah, and Salem VA facilities — are the highest since officials started sharing the data. 

RELATED: Hospitals from ‘Near Southwest Region’ of Virginia report 343 confirmed, pending COVID-19 patients

As of Wednesday, Dec. 16, there are 305 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region. That’s up 20 from last week. 

Of those patients, 67 are in Intensive Care Units and 37 are on ventilators.   

However, there was some good news Wednesday as health systems began administering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in our area.   

Both LewisGale and Carilion began inoculating front line workers Wednesday morning.  

Those workers getting the vaccine on Wednesday are those who continue to treat the sickest COVID-19 patients. 

Mary Rogers, a Registered Nurse who works in the ICU at Carilion, took the vaccine on Wednesday. She says after watching patients die in front of her, she was excited to see the vaccine released. 

“I strongly support this.  I believe in it and I hope in the coming future to be able to return to a sense of normalcy.” 

Health leaders with LewisGale said Wednesday was a day they have waited and prayed for for nine months. 

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