FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Each day this week, South Florida hospitals have been receiving their shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and healthcare workers at one Fort Lauderdale hospital have the opportunity to get theirs.

On Thursday, Broward Health Medical Center employees on the frontlines of the pandemic will start to get the vaccine.

7News cameras captured the moment the vaccine was brought into the hospital and loaded into freezers.

“It’s a monumental day here for Broward and the fact that we do get to vaccinate, inoculate our healthcare providers who are on the frontline taking care of our patients in the high-risk areas,” said Broward Health Executive Director of Pharmacy Services Dave Lacknauth.

Leaders at the hospital stressed how difficult the last several months have been for healthcare workers, while also pointing out how quickly this day has come.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Lacknauth. “I feel like we’ve been battling this virus and this disease for quite a while. This is, I think, light at the end of the tunnel.”

“The first cases in Florida were nine and a half months ago,” said Broward Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joshua Lenchus, “so for us to be standing here next to a vaccine, truly is warp speed.”

Dr. Sunil Kumar, the head of Broward Health Medical Center’s COVID-19 intensive care unit, jumped up on a chair after receiving the vaccine.

“I’m so thankful to having prioritized to get this first dose in my hospital and extremely happy,” Kumar said.

Kumar first spoke with 7News during a tour of the hospital’s COVID-19 unit in July.

“It is scary,” he said. “When you see a 19-year-old kid struggling to live, and we are doing everything to keep that kid alive. That’s scary.”

Kumar has been quarantining himself from his wife and two children for close to 10 months.

“I’ve been sleeping upstairs in my house, and the rest of my family has been downstairs,” Kumar said. “When I’m in the house, everybody else is also wearing masks in the house.”

While Kumar can breathe a little easier knowing he’s protected against getting severely sick, he said he will continue to self-isolate until his family is vaccinated.

“This has been a dark phase of our lives, and I’m getting ready to move onto the next phase,” Kumar said.

Broward Health partnered with Memorial Healthcare System to get the COVID-19 vaccine to their most at-risk frontline workers.

“This is an amazing day, not just for the citizens of Broward County but for our entire country,” said Natalie Zilban with Memorial Healthcare System. “On a side note, I did get the vaccine yesterday, and I’m OK, so I recommend to everyone: go out there and get vaccinated.”

Broward Health officials said they have the Pfizer vaccine in one freezer, and they have another freezer set aside for the Moderna vaccine once it is available.

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