Doctor preparing to get COVID-19 vaccine at Beaumont hopes to inspire others

Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 14, 2020

TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Beaumont Health System shared a video of supplies it says it already received from Pfizer. It has everything needed to prepare and administer the new COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, it just needs the vaccine itself. It has been told the shipment could arrive anytime between now and Wednesday.

“I am optimistic that this vaccine can put an end to these staggering numbers that we have all become so numb to. One thousand deaths a day. Two thousand deaths a day, that just don’t have to happen,” said Dr. Nick Gilpin, the Beaumont Health System Medical Director for Infection Prevention.

Back in March, he spoke about the death of the first person in Michigan to die from COVID-19 at a press conference.

Since then, in Michigan alone, more than ten thousand people have lost their lives. The vaccine gives him hope.

“Taking care of COVID patients has been humbling to say the least because there is fundamentally so little we can offer these patients other than support and oxygen and time. That from the perspective of a caregiver is extremely frustrating,” he said.

Dr. Gilpin says this vaccine became available in record time, not because it was rushed, but because of scientific innovation.

“The reason for that is we are using a slightly different technology than we did before that allows these vaccine manufacturers to move faster. Using the mRNA or messenger RNA technology is safe, it makes for an extremely effective vaccine, which we have seen. They don’t have to deal with the virus in the lab, which from the perspective of the manufacturers, shaves a lot of time off,” explained Dr. Gilpin.

Dr. Gilpin says he has personally reviewed the research and hopes that by getting the vaccine he sends a message to others about his confidence in its safety and potential to save lives.

“This has been the most transparent vaccine development process the I have ever lived through. I and other scientists have been able to look over their shoulder as they look at this data. And so we can independently say we believe these vaccines are safe and effective,” said Dr. Gilpin.