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Nurses shifting toward getting COVID-19 vaccine, doctors 'quite eager,' health care rep says

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipments have started to arrive in the Queen City, and Moderna vaccines could be approved in the coming days.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More health care workers in North Carolina are open to receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as the state begins its massive effort to get people vaccinated. 

This development comes one day after the first shipments of Pfizer's vaccine arrived in Charlotte. Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Moderna's vaccine could be approved within days. The state could receive up to 175,000 doses next week.

RELATED: US on track to approve 2nd COVID-19 vaccine by end of week

Dr. Dennis Taylor, the president of the North Carolina Nurses Association, said overall, nurses' attitudes seem to be changing with more workers willing to get the vaccine. 

Atrium Health’s Dr. Katie Passaretti led the way becoming the first person in North Carolina to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I just got my first COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Passaretti. “I feel perfectly fine, I’ve had no issues with the vaccine.”

RELATED: 'I feel perfectly fine' | Atrium Health doctor becomes first person in NC to receive COVID vaccine

Now, the question is, will other health care workers follow?  It’s the focus of a recent survey by the North Carolina Nurses Association, which wrapped up on Monday, and they’re now reviewing the data.  

Dr. Taylor said anecdotally he’s seen a significant change as nurses learn more about the safety of the vaccine.

“Even weeks ago it was almost a 50-50,” said Dr. Taylor. “I think what you’re going to find that majority of those that responded to the survey will want to take the vaccine as soon as it’s available.”

It comes as Pfizer shipments have started to arrive in the Queen City, and Moderna vaccines could be approved in the coming days. State health departments in both the Carolinas are now involved in PSA campaigns to encourage people to get vaccinated.  

In North Carolina, health officials will be releasing a series of videos on social media. South Carolina health officials are sharing posters for hospitals and other facilities about why it’s important to get the vaccine.

“I think all the physicians are quite eager and I have not sensed any hesitancy,” said Dr. Michael Finch Jr., president of the South Carolina Medical Association.

Dr. Finch Jr. says he expects that just about every physician who’s able to get the vaccine would do that.

“Probably 90 to 95% of physicians I would think are comfortable,” Dr. Finch Jr. said.

Based on her personal experience, Dr. Rebecca Hayes with the North Carolina Medical Society agrees.

“I would say the vast majority of physicians are excited about getting the vaccine,” Dr. Hayes said.

Healthcare professionals will set the example before others are able to get vaccinated.

“That’s the only way we are going to get over the hump with it,” Dr. Finch Jr said.

The North Carolina Nurses Association says they hope to release the findings from their survey in the next day or so.

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