Michael Dandaneau was the first employee at Baptist Health to receive the Moderna COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday.

Registered nurse Michael Dandaneau helped care for one of the first COVID19 patients at Baptist Health Richmond back in March.

On Wednesday, he was one of the first staff members at Baptist Health Richmond to receive a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

He is one of 100 staff at the hospital who received the vaccine after an initial shipment of 600 Moderna vaccines the day prior.

“I am happy they are giving it to us, and it is important that we take it,” Dandaneau said.

Pulmonologist Muhammad Iqbal also received the vaccine on Wednesday after Dandaneau.

“I am a little envious because he got it before me,” Iqbal said with a laugh.

Both he and Dandaneau responded to a survey the hospital sent to their staff to gauge the interest of receiving the vaccine.

“(The hospital) did a good job plugging everyone in,” he said. “I got a call yesterday afternoon to make sure I was still interested and willing to take it and they gave me time to get to the area to get the vaccine.”

But, despite having received the vaccine, both agree there is still more work that needs to be done.

According to Iqbal, it would take approximately 80% of the population being vaccinated before the county could see a dip in cases.

And, he said, masks will still be necessary to help reduce the spread of the virus for those that will and will not receive a vaccine.

“You will still need a mask because you can still keep the virus in your body for sometime and spread it to others but not get sick from it yourself."

They both stated this vaccine will be like the flu vaccine, and side effects can show in 10% of people who are vaccinated.

“There are going to be a few side effects, but the benefit outweighs that, I think,” Dandanaeu said.

Both agree, although there are misconceptions about the vaccine and what it consists of. They encourage everyone to get the vaccine whenever it becomes available.

“The eyes of the world have been on this vaccine production,” Iqbal said. “For things to be overlooked or rushed through, everyone has been viewing this process, and I wouldn’t imagine that things got skipped or missed.”

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