MID-MICHIGAN, Mich. (WJRT) - Tuesday marks one year since the first COVID-19 vaccines started to roll out across Michigan.
Now more than six million Michiganders have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
ABC12 caught up with a Mid-Michigan frontline healthcare worker who was one of the first to receive the vaccine.
"About a year ago, I was asked to be one of the first ones to get the vaccine and I chose to get the vaccine. I was very excited for it."
Intensive Care Unit/SWAT nurse Heath Lamb of McLaren Bay Region made history being the first health care worker at the hospital to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
A year later Lamb is still working the front lines as the state hits its 4th surge.
"It's been a pretty crazy year still seeing a lot of COVID patients come in very high acuity patients, very sick patients. The length of stay is a lot longer. So that kind of bogs up the bed situation a little bit. We're not getting patients out as fast as they're coming in," said Lamb.
Hospitals throughout the state are experiencing high volumes of patients. Lamb says most of the patients he has seen come through the ICU are unvaccinated.
"Every time we get a surge, you know things do get tight, but our staff here steps up. We got a lot of nurses that are picking up extra shifts, and taking care of these patients doing what they can to help get them through this."
Lamb says while its tough work he's grateful for the team he works with at McLaren.
"It's great that nurses across the U.S. are really stepping up to take care of the general population."
While the front line workers are stepping up and COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots are available, Lamb continues to encourage the public to do their part.
"From what I've seen in my personal experience, I would say the vaccine works and I would encourage anybody to get the vaccine."
Lamb says he's optimistic things will start to settle down if more of the population continues to get the vaccine.
The state health department is encouraging the public to get the vaccine and the booster shot ahead of the holidays as well as asking the public to continue practicing COVID-19 safety protocols.