New SWFL health care workers make history during vaccine rollout

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Natilee Azzara administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Natilee Azzara

New health care workers are coming to the job at a crucial time for public health.

At Lee Health, two college graduates are helping to vaccinate other health care workers. One of them is Natilee Azzara, who graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in pharmaceutical science and is a first-year Lee Health resident. She was a part of history two weeks ago, when she helped administer the first round of Pfizer vaccines in Lee County.

First she had to complete a 15 to 20 hour immunization course that’s been required since before COVID-19.

“I think it’s awesome to be helping out during the middle of this pandemic; I’m working with other healthcare providers to just be there for our community and be there for one another,” Azzara said. “I think I just confirmed that I’m in the right place and doing exactly what I should be doing.”

She was also given documents to read specific to the COVID-19 vaccine and the dilution process. Azzara says she’ll never forget this experience.

“It was a lot more nerve-racking than I thought it was going to be,” Azzara said. “There were tons of cameras, and it was just a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be, but it was a really cool experience and it’s just light at the end of the tunnel for me, and we are almost through with COVID[-19].”

Azzara has received the vaccine herself. She’s also noticed more and more health care workers have become eager to get it as well.

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