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Gundersen Health System celebrates fully vaccinating 25,000

Ben Faas receives first Pfizer dose
Ben Faas receives first Pfizer dose(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) -

More and more COVID shots are going into arms in Wisconsin, with more than three million doses administered.

“Our practices are very dependent on supply, so as supply comes in that’s how we adjust our operations,” said Daniel Coenen, a Gundersen Health System Clinical Manager.

That supply has allowed Gundersen to fully vaccinate 25,000 people and deliver at least one shot to over 60,000 as of Thursday.

“Generally speaking we can see roughly 90 vaccines in an hour,” Coenen added.

Community members say they’re excited to receive the vaccine because it’s a chance to return to a more normal way of life.

“I’m super excited, I just really want us to get over this pandemic,” said Ben Faas, who received his first Pfizer dose on Thursday.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Coenen, saying people have gone from nervously getting tested to eagerly anticipating the vaccine.

“You can feel the energy from both the staff and the patients as they come into the clinic, there’s this feeling of liberation and this new freedom,” Coenen said.

Ben says the vaccination provides a sense of relief after a sports season spent on-edge.

“Football season was difficult because we were so worried about someone getting into close contact, and when that happened everyone freaked out and panicked and was worried our season was going to get shut down,” Ben explained.

Ben’s mother Kim says she spent the last year feeling helpless while the pandemic impacted her children.

Kim added getting vaccinated is her chance to make a difference in getting their lives back on track.

“This pandemic didn’t bother me personally, I work from home anyway--for me it was fine,” said Kim Faas. “Seeing my kids go through it and seeing how much they lost, [Ben] with all of his sports, my youngest for the longest time saw no friends.”

For those on the fence about getting vaccinated, Kim has a simple message.

“Do it, are you crazy? Do you want to live life like this forever or do you want to get back to normal?,” Kim questioned.

Patients can check with their health system about vaccine availability.

As of April 5, Governor Evers has made everyone 16 and older eligible to receive the vaccine.

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