UK doctor among the first to get vaccinated

Posted at 10:47 PM, Dec 17, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Tuesday, the University of Kentucky Hospital began vaccinating their employees.

Dr. Charles Eckerline was one of the first doctors to receive the vaccine. Since then, hundreds of other medical professionals have been vaccinated.

In a few weeks, he will receive the booster dose, and until then he won't have immunity. He will continue to take the appropriate steps to protect himself and his patients but says this is a pivotal moment in Kentucky's fight against the virus.

"Hopefully, as we get more people immunized, particularly people who are high risk we will begin to open things up a bit and hopefully get back to normal by the spring," Dr. Eckerline said.

For anyone who is hesitant about getting the vaccine, Dr. Eckerline says he has been in good health since getting it.

"For anyone that is worried I would reassure them that the risk of the disease is much greater than the vaccine and they should take it. I would really encourage people to take it, I've had no problem whatsoever."

Dr. Eckerline has treated hundreds of COVID-positive patients and has been practicing emergency medicine since 1979, meaning after 42 years he didn't stop to take a break even when the pandemic hit.

"I felt I was in good health. I was not unaware of the risk because age is a factor, but we needed the people some of my younger colleges offered to work some shifts for me, but I didn't really think it was fair to ask them to do it."