The first five Kentuckians to receive Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine gave an update regarding their experiences Monday, 1 week after getting the injection.

All five are frontline healthcare workers at University of Louisville Health. Last week, UofL was one of 11 hospitals in Kentucky to get the first shipment of Pfizer's vaccine.

First in line for the vaccine at UofL were Drs. Jason Smith, Valerie Briones-Pryor and Mohamed Saad, and registered nurses LaShawn Scott and Beth Sum. On Monday, the audience held a press briefing to talk about details about the vaccine.

“My biggest rationale for getting the vaccine ended up being to take the next step in eliminating this pandemic,” Sum said. “It was one that took lots of research and a lot of talks around the nursing station simply to pick each other's brains and find out what we all felt about it. It was honestly probably one of the easiest decisions to make. It simply dropped as to the was logical and just what was right.”

None from the vaccinated workers reported any adverse negative effects. A few experienced mild soreness around the injection site that went away after the first day.

Smith, UofL's Chief Medical Officer, said he had no negative effects at all. He said his team is satisfied to have received the vaccine, but as of now, it changes nothing regarding their daily battle against COVID-19.

“I'll be honest, it is simply not widespread enough yet that we can kind of begin to be less stressed about this or less worried about our friends and us,” Smith said. “It's still there- It's better, however i think we still have a great deal on our plates. We still have a lot of patients in the hospital with this particular disease, and we're seeing more every single day.”

The day Briones-Pryor was vaccinated, she lost her 27th patient to COVID-19. She's since had another patient die, and that number will grow soon, she said.

“It still hasn't changed what's happening around us,” Briones-Pryor said. “And that's individuals are still losing the battle with COVID. I did lose a 28th patient, and I'll probably lose 29, 30 and 31 here shortly.”

Smith said about 550 UofL workers have been vaccinated with the first shipment of 975 doses. He hopes to have all “tier 1” healthcare workers in the hospital, about 7,000 people, vaccinated by the end January.

Until the vaccine is more accessible, Smith said Kentuckians must still take precautions to limit spread of the virus.

“Don't stop now, just because there's a light at the end of the tunnel,” he explained. “We're not out yet. Keep doing everything we've been doing. Come spring and summer, i will be in an exceedingly different place, and i will be able to do a lot of the things that we like.

A second Pfizer shipment is going to be delivered to hospitals soon. Moderna's recently-approved vaccine may also be dispersed in the coming weeks.