VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)- COVID-19 vaccinations began in the Wabash Valley as local hospitals received their first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday.

The two hospitals in Terre Haute received shipments, as did Good Samaritan hospital in Vincennes.

Good Samaritan began vaccinating health care workers in its new COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Thursday.

“A lot of excitement today, and that’s been very welcomed because there have been a lot of days over the last 9 months that have been trying,” Adam Thacker, COO at Good Samaritan Hospital, said.

Chad Allen, a respiratory critical care specialist at the hospital, is no stranger to witnessing these trying times firsthand.

“Working in critical care, I’ve seen a lot of the grief and heartache that our patients and families have had to go through over the last several months,” Allen said.

Allen was among the five people at Good Samaritan to receive the first dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.

While expressing his feelings afterward, Allen said he wanted to do his part to help his community.

“Just to be able to in some way try to stop the community spread and feel like we’ve done a little bit of something that can help lead to an end of this pandemic, it makes you feel pretty good,” Allen said.

The effort right now is getting health care workers vaccinated.

Thacker said their facility will be responsible for vaccinating health care workers from Knox, Daviess and Pike counties.

While the vaccine is not yet available for the general public, Thacker encourages people to get it when they have the opportunity.

“We’ve talked the last few weeks about how do we start to move to the next stage ending the pandemic and that’s around the vaccine. So I feel like this is a safe, effective vaccine that individuals should get. Everybody has to look at is it the right timing for them and when will that be and certainly we have a lot of trust in how the process was facilitated from an FDA standpoint,” Thacker said.