Mission Hospital begins COVID-19 vaccinations

Matthew Kohberger after COVID-19 vaccine
Matthew Kohberger, right, flashes a thumbs-up after becoming the first Mission Hospital nurse to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Photo courtesy of Mission Health

Press release from Mission Health:

Mission Hospital COVID Unit RN Matthew Kohberger made history this morning as the first person to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at Mission Hospital. The administering of this first dose was so exciting for the staff at Mission Hospital – many of whom watched on video chat —and it was met with applause and “Yahoos!” from everyone. Matthew was joined by his unit co-worker RN Danielle Cardona, both proudly sporting their “I got the COVID-19 shot” stickers with #heroesworkhere. They truly do. The first physician vaccinated this morning was Worku Wondafrash, who didn’t realize he was the first doctor, but was excited to get the vaccine.

Since the pandemic began, the safety of our patients and our staff has been our highest priority. There can be no words to fully describe our respect and admiration for our staff who have shown their resilience and ability to adapt to constant change as we battled an invisible foe together. We are grateful to see the light at the end of our journey and excited to be vaccinating against this viral enemy. Vaccinations started at Mission Hospital early this morning and will continue through the weekend as we travel to our sister hospitals throughout the region.

Mission Health, as part of HCA Healthcare, is following national guidance on who is – and who is not – recommended to receive each vaccine and what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness. With input from National Academy of Medicine (NAM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other available literature, HCA Healthcare’s clinical and emergency operations teams have developed guidance for implementing a “tiering” system to ensure that those at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19 have access to the vaccine first.

Though the vaccines are not mandatory, we believe it’s a major step toward ending this pandemic. Deployment of the vaccine does not change our commitment to all elements of universal protection, which have been the mainstay of our COVID-19 safety program to date. These include wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing. We ask the community’s continued help in following the three Ws and keeping yourself and our neighbors safe.

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