Hope arrived in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 14 in the back of a UPS delivery truck.

UPS truck carrying COVID Vaccines

Just three days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, 975 doses of the much-anticipated vaccine rolled into The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on a chilly Monday morning.

“This is hope. This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”Gov. Mike DeWine

A jubilant Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine were waiting outside with hospital and university leaders. Medical center workers spelled out O-H-I-O in the hospital’s loading dock.

At 10:47 that morning, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center became one of the first hospitals in the nation to administer the first round of doses to frontline workers.

Health care workers getting vaccinated

A celebration broke out among the syringes and gauze and vials. There were cheers. Tears. A countdown:

“3-2-1. Vaccinate!”

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center administers vaccines all the time. But never like this. Reporters from around the country, including CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Associated Press, documented the vaccine’s every move, from delivery truck to deltoid.

Six health care workers involved in the direct care of COVID-19-positive patients received shots while cameras flashed and reporters scribbled notes.

In all, 30 people were vaccinated that first day, a trial run to make sure the process went smoothly.

Health care workers getting vaccinated

Vaccinations continued throughout the week, and as pharmacists discovered extra doses within the Pfizer vaccine vials, Ohio State was able to vaccinate more than 1,000 medical workers in total. Vaccinations will continue as more shipments arrive.

“This is history in its making right now.” Meghana Moodabagil, MD, one of the first people at Ohio State to receive the injection

“Today is a very special day for us all in the state of Ohio, at The Ohio State University and in the United States of America. It’s incredible,” said Steven Loborec, PharmD, assistant director in the Department of Pharmacy, speaking to the media as he prepared a syringe with the vaccine.

Beyond a little soreness in the arm, those who have received the vaccine at Ohio State report feeling great.

And, after our long year battling the COVID-19 pandemic, there's now room for hope.

Health care worker after getting vaccinated for COVID-19

“After months of preparation, I am extraordinarily proud of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center for once again being at the forefront of the global COVID-19 response as our faculty and staff were among the first wave to receive the vaccine.” Hal Paz, MD, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

Doctor with COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines mark the beginning of a new era in the battle against the coronavirus, but much more remains to be done. With more than 100 COVID-19-related studies underway across the university, Ohio State is continuing to push innovation in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19—so that the pandemic, one day, will also be part of history.

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in the News

  • NBC Nightly News: How Covid Vaccines are distributed
  • Today.com: Ohio medical center eagerly awaits arrival of 1st shipment of vaccine
  • Today.com: Meet 3 of the first front line health workers to be vaccinated
  • MSNBC: Ohio nurse speaks about receiving Covid vaccine
  • CNBC: Ohio State Wexner emergency medicine doctor on receiving Covid-19 vaccine
  • CNN: Newly vaccined doctor says she is now less worried she would take the virus home to her family
  • The New York Times: U.S. Starts Vaccine Rollout as High-Risk Health Care Workers Go First
  • The Washington Post: First coronavirus vaccine shots given outside trials in U.S.
  • Associated Press: ‘Healing is coming’: US health workers start getting vaccine
Nurse vaccinating patient

On Jan. 19 public COVID-19 vaccinations for those 80 and older began at Ohio State.

Over 1,700 people streamed into the Schottenstein Center to take that first step back to normal after nearly a year of worry.

Read more

Ohio State is first in the U.S. to roll out the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine adds even greater strength to the effort. Requiring just one dose, this is the latest vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

Read more

Learn more about COVID-19

Learn more about COVID-19

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