COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Front-line staff members at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center continue to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Just being able to hug my mom and dad again, that’s all that matters,” said Patient Representative Pete Zimpher. This year’s gift, though small in size, looms large in what it’s giving to healthcare workers across the state.

“I have a sister-in-law that I’m really concerned about right now, so I hope she stays safe,” said Dr. Safdar Kahn, chief of orthopedic spine surgery. “One small poke in the arm is a large infusion of hope.”

Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center received around 7,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday morning, just eight days after receiving nearly 1,000 doses from Pfizer.

“At this time, everybody feels really vulnerable,” said operation room nurse Laura Hickey. “I think the vaccine offers some hope and some security.”

Tuesday’s vaccine arrival signifies the turning of a page as healthcare workers head into the new year.

“With this vaccine, we wait for it to thaw out and then we’re able to get 10 doses out of this vial without having to dilute it,” explained Dr. Allyson Helms, a second-year pharmacy resident. “It’s nice being able to draw out of the same vial and just a little different process than that Pfizer vaccine.”

Ohio State officials says they have already administered all of the doses from the Pfizer shipment they received last week.

“We’re excited to see what the new normal will be in 2021, and we’re hoping to vaccinate as many folks as we can,” Dr. Helms said. “It’s the best thing Santa could bring. Nothing else needed in our stocking.”

OSU administered 1,032 doses last week and hoped to vaccinate nearly 200 staff on Tuesday.

“That little extra layer of protection will end up being the saving grace in the long run,” said Zimpher.