A Kenyan-born and trained doctor is among the first recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine in the United States.
Dr Stella Ogake, an assistant professor of internal medicine in pulmonary and critical care at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre in Colombus, Ohio, received the vaccine at the facility she works in.
And in an interview with CNN, Ogake expressed excitement at receiving the Pfizer vaccine, stating that her experience of getting inoculated with the vaccine had been smooth.
“It is such a moment of hope because we can see the light. We can see the end of this pandemic,” she said.
The doctor studied at the Moi Girls’ High School, Eldoret, before joining Moi University College of Health Sciences for a degree in medicine between 2002 and 2008.
She then worked at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi before relocating to the US.
Ogake, who is also an assistant professor of internal medicine in pulmonary and critical care at Wexner, noted that her work in the ICU has been overwhelming over the past two months.
Getting the vaccine alleviates her fear of getting the virus or taking it home to her family, she said, adding she wants this moment for other Americans too.
“Just seeing patients in the hospital and seeing what they go through, my biggest fear is getting it myself or taking it home to my son or my husband, or my other family members.
In another interview with the Ohio student newspaper The Lantern, Ogake revealed that her work, which is mainly centered in the Intensive Care Unit, is overwhelming.
“I like to work in the ICU, I like spending time in the ICU, but with Covid-19 it becomes very overwhelming, with all the number of patients we see and the fact that we see these really sick people, worrying that we are going to take it home to our families,” Ogake said.
Distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine commenced on Monday and if the FDA green lights Moderna’s, rollout of some six million doses could start next Monday.
The vaccine deployment in the US prioritizes healthcare workers as the pandemic deaths in the country pass the 300,000 mark.