Approximately 400 frontline health care workers will receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
St. Petersburg, FL (December 18, 2020) – Team members identified as being at risk of COVID-19 exposure started receiving the coronavirus vaccine on Friday, December 18 at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. The hospital delivered the first shot at 7:30 a.m. during a clinic held on their campus in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Team members signed up to receive one of the 400 doses available to them at the free, voluntary vaccination clinic. Designed to follow all guidance from state and federal health officials, another characteristic of this preliminary clinic was the upbeat atmosphere and noticeable excitement from staff receiving their shots.
“Our team members were very excited to receive their vaccines,” said John Moore, president of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. “Being that we are Pinellas County’s only Level 2 Trauma Center we are grateful to be among the first to receive the vaccine.”
Distribution of the vaccine will continue at the hospital on Tuesday, December 22. Team members at other Orlando Health facilities are also receiving their vaccine. All locations are using the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
“We are pleased to provide this initial round of vaccinations to individuals who face the highest risk of exposure to the virus,” said George Ralls, MD, chief medical officer, Orlando Health. “In addition to the Pfizer product, we expect the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be approved within weeks, which – based on supply – should allow us to expand the vaccination program, eventually making the vaccine available to our entire workforce.”
High-risk groups are defined by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) as clinical and non-clinical staff with direct patient contact with increased risk of COVID-19 exposure. Examples include intensive care units (ICU), COVID-19 care units, emergency departments and personnel who handle infectious materials.
“As additional supply of vaccine becomes available, Orlando Health will move quickly to establish additional vaccination sites across our system,” adds Dr. Ralls. “Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine remains unclear, specific dates for opening of additional sites has not yet been determined.”
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $6.8 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States.
Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in Pinellas County. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health is a statutory teaching system that pioneers life-changing medical research. The 3,200-bed system includes 15 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. Nearly 4,200 physicians, representing more than 80 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs nearly 22,000 team members. In FY19, Orlando Health served nearly 150,000 inpatients and nearly 2.7 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided more than $760 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at http://www.orlandohealth.com.
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