Ted Kirst, 80, and his wife Barbara, 77, rolled up their sleeves and received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine together at the Day Kimball Healthcare Center in Plainfield on Friday, January 29.
The duo called it “relieving and uplifting” to receive the vaccine. They are among the first Day Kimball Medical Group patients age 75 and older to receive the vaccine as part of phase 1b of Connecticut’s vaccination program.
After struggling to register online through the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) and to find a location to get the vaccine that was close to home, the elderly couple was overjoyed and grateful when they received a call from Day Kimball Medical Group to book their vaccination appointment that same day.
“It was nothing short of a miracle. We received a call on Friday morning from Day Kimball, and that afternoon we were in the clinic receiving our first dose of the vaccine. It was an unexpected, beautiful gift. Better than Christmas,” Ted said.
Kathy Combs, director of professional revenue cycle, Day Kimball Medical Group, assisted the husband and wife with scheduling their vaccination appointment over the phone. She said Ted was moved to tears when he received the call. “It’s patients like Ted and Barbara who make our fight as healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic worth it,” said Kathy.
The Kirsts never doubted that they would take the COVID-19 vaccine. “We trust the science,” said Ted, a former senior research engineer at Brown University. “It beats the alternative,” added Barbara.
Their time for the vaccine came nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. To help deal with the quarantine and isolation during the pandemic, the pair stayed connected with their faith group through virtual ceremonies.
Parents of two daughters and grandparents of two, the Kirsts said the most difficult part of the pandemic has been missing family. They look forward to the day that full immunity can be reached and life gets back to some kind of normalcy, but until then, they have each other as they have for the past 56 years of marriage.
The Kirsts were pleased with the vaccination process at Day Kimball, saying that everything went smoothly from start to end. Although they are delighted to finally get their shots, they are still being cautious about wearing masks and social distancing.
Barbara and Ted encourage others, especially those their age, to get the vaccine as well.
The couple is scheduled to return to Day Kimball in four weeks to receive their second doses.
COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 vaccines are being provided to Day Kimball Medical Group patients who currently meet Connecticut state eligibility guidelines. Learn more.
COVID-19 Testing | Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is available at Day Kimball Healthcare Center in Putnam for adult and pediatric DKMG patients with valid doctor's order. Learn more.
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