Late Monday, Lake Health received 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and started vaccinating front line health care workers who are directly treating COVID-19 patients.
The first employee vaccinated, Connie Woodring, is a registered nurse caring for COVID patients at TriPoint Medical Center.
“I’m excited to get the vaccine. Since I work on the front lines, I don’t want to spread COVID to anyone. I haven’t seen my grandkids in awhile so I will feel safer to do so once I have the vaccine,” said Connie.
The second person to receive the vaccine was Dr. David Hutt, Infectious Disease Specialist at Lake Health. “I am excited to roll up my sleeve and get the vaccine. I have been looking forward to this day!”
Lake Health team members have been prioritized to receive the vaccine by tiers as defined by state and federal agencies. Lake Health COVID-19 Taskforce identified the first groups to be vaccinated based on guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.
“This is a day we’ve been looking forward to,” said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, CEO and President of Lake Health. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are absolutely delighted that we can now begin vaccination for our medical staff and team members who have cared for so many during this crisis.”
“I’m very blessed to be a part of this moment,” said Michelle Zubek, RN at Lake Health. “This vaccine signifies hope for me and my family.”
During the clinical trials, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines showed more than 90% effectiveness with no serious adverse safety concerns. The COVID-19 vaccine development process included several steps comparable with those used to develop earlier vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine. The FDA, as well as independent medical experts, has ensured that every detail of these vaccines is being thoroughly and rigorously evaluated.
“Until today, the vaccine was the missing tool in our ever-growing toolkit of treatments and prevention methods against the virus,” said Dr. John Baniewicz, Chief Medical Officer at Lake Health. “This vaccine, along with other preventive measures such as social distancing, mask wearing and proper hand hygiene, will help bring us back to a more normal way of life.”
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has defined populations for different vaccination phases:
- Phase 1A includes persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B includes workers in essential and critical industries.
- Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
- Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.