The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in McNairy County.
Ten first responders were the first to get the shot on Monday afternoon. Milledgeville Fire Chief Leland Alexander and his wife Margie were the first in line.
“Right now, there are so many people here who have it,” Leland Alexander said. “Anything we can do to prevent the spread of it, we're going to do.”
Leland Alexander has served as the Milledgeville Fire Chief for eight years and as a firefighter for 25.
“You have to take precautions for your family and yourself,” he said. “We don't want to be the ones who go out and get it, then give it to someone else who dies from it.
“We would never get over that.”
Margie Alexander said the shot was different than getting a flu shot.
“It doesn't sting at all,” she said. “I didn't even feel it. I'm just glad we've got it. I look forward to taking the next one in 28 days.”
The shots are arranged by tiers.
“It goes to higher risk groups first,” McNairy County Public Health Educator Beth Hamilton said. “It goes down into lower risk groups, then the general public.
“Right now, we're focused on Tier 1.”
Guidelines for the vaccine include statements that the vaccine is not FDA approved to prevent COVID-19 and it may not protect everyone. The virus currently has no approved vaccine, but the Moderna vaccine was shown to prevent COVID-19 in a majority of 15,400 individuals tested. The vaccine is given in two doses about one month apart.
The McNairy County Health Department is giving those receiving the vaccine an information packet.
“They get an emergency virus fact sheet instead of just a shot,” Registered Nurse Supervisor Kristy Holloway said. “We ask them if they are allergic to anything or if they have ever had an allergic reaction to a shot or IV.”
The shots will be given from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays.
“Do your research,” Hamilton said. “It has been thoroughly test. The vaccine is strictly voluntary.
“The good news is we have the vaccine. We are extremely grateful for that.”