“I’m officially COVID-19 vaccinated!”

That was the excited message Gabby Hayward recently shared on her social media page, adding, “Thank you, Elyssa Johannesen, for administering my second dose and completing my COVID-19 vaccination journey!”

Gabby and Elyssa are friends and coworkers with Pharmacy Services at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital. And now they’re fighting COVID-19 together.

“What could be more special than friends vaccinating friends to keep each other safe?” Gabby concluded in her post.

The women, along with Miranda Graham, another team member, all received the second dose of the vaccine on January 7.  Their first doses were administered December 19.

Elyssa shared how she’s feeling during this challenging time. “It has been such a tough year for all of us. Some days, it feels like we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Miranda and Elyssa are Pharmacy Residents at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital.  They’ve worked alongside colleagues who are making history with the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, they were present when the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to the hospital.

“It’s been challenging to start working in a hospital during the pandemic, but I have been moved by the acts of kindness shown to healthcare workers during this time,” Miranda said. “I’ve learned how wonderful the community in central Pennsylvania is, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of getting to see more of what our community has to offer when we return to a more normal life.”

Elyssa described the emotions that she experienced when she received the second vaccine. “It was more emotional than I thought it would be. I walked into the clinic feeling like it was a normal day, but it hit me later how big of a moment it is, not only on a personal level, but also on a community level and world level. After getting my second dose of vaccine, I finally feel like I can see the light. Our hard work is paying off.”

The women have high hopes for the future and what lies ahead for our community and the world.  “I hope that by the holiday season next year I will be able to see the newest additions to my family — my twin nieces — in-person for some hugs and kisses,” Miranda said. “They were born in Hawaii just before the start of the global lockdown. I’ve been fortunate enough to ‘meet’ them in live video chats with my sister. As others in our community and in my family get vaccinated, I feel like we’re getting one step closer to meeting in-person.”

Elyssa agreed. “I know it’s still a way off, but the vaccine gives me hope that I’ll be able to travel out-of-state and see my family again soon. We just have to keep moving forward, working hard, and providing the best care we can.”

Miranda, Elyssa and Gabby are a true team working together to beat COVID-19. Gabby appropriately used several hashtag lines on her social media post to announce her second vaccination shot: #beatCOVID19together and #Thisisourshot.

Thank you for giving it your all, ladies and working together to beat this virus!