A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Newport schools nurse practitioner Liz Tanner is first to receive COVID vaccine, wanted to set example

Newport Independent Schools’ Nurse Practitioner Liz Tanner has become the district’s first employee to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tanner, who operates the Newport Independent School-Based Health Clinic at Newport Intermediate School, received the vaccine last week at The Christ Hospital Health Network on Auburn Avenue in Cincinnati. She serves on staff as a Nurse Practitioner at the Christ Hospital Health Network Outpatient Center in Fort Wright.

Liz Tanner

Tanner said she wanted to stress the importance of the vaccine and encourage people to receive it when they are given the opportunity.

“We are learning from the public that there is a lot of confusion about the vaccine,” Tanner said. “So, I wanted to be first in line and set a good example about how important this is.”

Healthcare professionals such as Tanner are being asked by state officials to provide leadership on the need for the public to be vaccinated.

“I ask for your leadership in setting a positive example,” Dr. Steve Stack, Kentucky Commissioner for Public Health, said in a late December email to health care providers across the state. “This is very important as we ramp up vaccine administration sites, receive larger quantities of vaccine, and enlist an expanding array of partners to reach eligible persons in a manner aligned as closely as possible with the phasing plan.”

Tanner said she was also willing to be vaccinated as a wife, mother and daughter of two aging parents.

“In addition to the school, I work in a primary care office where I see patients and I do testing with COVID swabs,” she said. “I wear the full gear and I’m very aware of how serious COVID is. It is especially important to me not to bring home to my family what I am seeing at work, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated.”

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is like receiving a standard flu shot, Tanner said.

“I didn’t feel it go in at all, but in eight to 10 hours, I had a little muscle soreness,” she said. “It was not an adverse reaction, but the normal and expected reaction when a needle goes into your muscle.”

The COVID-19 vaccination Tanner is receiving is actually two vaccines delivered 28 days apart. 
“Getting vaccinated gives you a peace of mind,” she said, “but I’ll feel better when I can get the second vaccine in a few weeks.” 

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