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We are excited to report that York Hospital’s first shipment of Moderna vaccine was received on December 21, and the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered to caregivers at 8 a.m. December 22.

The CDC is currently recommending that COVID-19 vaccine be offered to health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. Learn more about who should be vaccinated first when vaccine supplies are limited. At York Hospital, a workgroup has been regularly meeting for several weeks to implement a vaccine clinic program that will begin with our high-risk caregivers in all roles in Emergent Care, Inpatient Care and Intensive Care settings. We have extended the offering to all employed caregivers and credentialed medical staff in the next phase of vaccine clinic appointments, beginning later today through the end of December. Our initial supply will likely meet the needs of all caregivers currently interested in vaccinations.

Charity Neal, Nursing Director of Emergency and Surgical Services  at York Hospital, shares: “It is not often that one gets to be a part of history, which is what we are doing here today. I’m very happy to see so many of our employees getting frontline vaccinations, which is going to help us care for our community in the best possible way.” Dr. Evangeline Thibodeau, Infectious Disease specialist at York Hospital, adds: “We have all been working tirelessly for the past nine to ten months fighting this pandemic, and now the end is in sight.” Dr. Thibodeau is seen, above, receiving her vaccination from Clinical Pharmacist, Mary Leisentritt, RPh.

Vaccinations will be offered in a thoughtful, staggered manner in order to prevent entire workgroups from experiencing potential side effects that could impact staffing. All of the available data show that the Moderna vaccines, which are nearly 95% effective, are safe. While some individuals have had mild side effects after receiving it, no serious side effects were reported during the course of the vaccine’s clinical trials. Learn more about what side effects might be expected after vaccination.

At this time, we are not yet vaccinating patients. Adults 65 years and older and high-risk individuals could be eligible for the vaccine in the coming months. We anticipate a second phase of distribution for all other patients will start in the spring.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in our communities and across the country, even when we begin vaccinating patients and members of the public, it is critical to remember that wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands are as important as ever. Right now, especially during the holidays, visiting with people outside of your household can spread COVID-19. Lower your risk by following the CDC’s recommendations on holiday gatherings.

While we continue to vaccinate our employees, York Hospital’s full range of services is available to care for you and your family. It’s important that you don’t delay medical care. Walk-In care is available seven days a week. Our emergency room is open 24/7. We continue to perform surgeries and procedures (with some temporary exceptions for elective outpatient procedures). Telehealth services and in-office visits are all available. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, including heart attack or stroke, seek help right away.

For additional information about vaccine recommendations and process, please visit the CDC website. If you have additional questions about the COVID-19 vaccination process at York Hospital, please contact Community Relations at (207) 351-2385 or info@yorkhospital.com.