Doctors fighting the pandemic side by side get vaccinated together

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Two doctors who have been working hand in hand since the start of the pandemic, got vaccinated side by side to help end it.

R.I. Hospital Medical Director Dr. David Portelli documented the moment where everything changed.

“I’ve got to say, I’ve never been so excited about getting a vaccination but there was certainly a buzz in the room,” Dr. Portelli said.

Across the room, Miriam Hospital Medical Director Dr. Ilse Jenouri was getting vaccinated, too.

“It was the most excited I ever was to get a shot and it was a contagious atmosphere to use an infectious term,” Dr. Jenouri said.

Both doctors have worked together for years. They snapped a picture celebrating what they call a “full circle moment”.

“Everyone understood the gravity of the moment and it was really sort of emotional knowing that we got to this point,” Dr. Jenouri said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, they worked as a team assisting the Department of Health in testing COVID patients, swabbing, at the time, some of the most people in the state.

“We had tested people in our ambulance deck in a drive thru fashion, we tested many patients in our ER department and members of our group, including Ilse and myself, went out to shelters in our area,” Dr. Portelli said.

All that effort made the moment even more special. They said they finally felt like they could breathe and look forward instead of backwards.

“It was quite literally the shot in the arm we needed to give us sort of a boost to keep working and showing up for our patients and for our community,” Dr. Jenouri said. “We are far from the end of this, but it does feel for the first time like the end might be in sight.”

Both doctors say they are feeling just fine today. They say aside from a little soreness at the injection site, they have no other symptoms so far. They will receive their second shot in 21 days.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island