Freeman Health System employees receive first doses of Moderna vaccine

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Dozens of Freeman Health System employees line up to help in the fight against covid-19 Tuesday.

Freeman Health System received 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week and started the vaccination process Tuesday. Employees that are in direct contact with patients will get the shot first, followed by other employees and staff not in direct contact.

General Trauma Surgeon Dr. David Baker was the very first employee to receive the vaccine. He reports the shot as painless, has had no side effects so far, and his flu shot actually hurt a little more a couple weeks ago.

Dr. David Baker, Freeman Health System Staff Physician, said, “I think this is a huge step in the path to recovery for our area, for our hospital, for our nation. And, so, I think that this is a very positive step. It’s the most optimistic that I’ve felt in a long time about COVID.”

Dr. Chance Matthiesen, Freeman Health System Radiation Oncologist, said, “I think getting the hospitals vaccinated and getting our healthcare systems protected is the very first step to helping take care of the public, so it’s definitely a great feeling that we’re finally moving forward with this step.”

Vaccinations were available for employees until 8 p.m. Tuesday — or until they run out. The health system expects to receive multiple shipments over the next several weeks.

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