AdventHealth physicians urge continued vigilance as vaccinations ramp up across Central Florida

Female AdventHealth employee receives Moderna vaccine from male employee

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 29, 2020 – AdventHealth physicians struck an optimistic but cautious note on Central Florida’s fight against COVID-19, as cases rise but vaccines become more widespread across the region.

Dr. Steven R. Smith, AdventHealth’s chief scientific officer, and Dr. Amay Parikh, a critical care physician at AdventHealth Orlando, shared the latest developments with the pandemic Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, vaccination of AdventHealth team members with the Moderna vaccine began at AdventHealth DeLand; AdventHealth Kissimmee; and AdventHealth Waterman, in Tavares. That’s in addition to ongoing distribution of the Pfizer vaccine at AdventHealth’s Orlando, Celebration and Daytona Beach campuses. The Moderna vaccine will be distributed to team members at additional AdventHealth campuses over the next two weeks.

“Thousands of health care workers have been vaccinated so far and those efforts continue,” Smith said.

Parikh noted a sense of optimism among health care workers amid the vaccinations.

“The vaccine is something we’ve been hoping for and looking forward to,” Parikh said. “It’s our way out of the pandemic.”

AdventHealth has about 600 COVID-19 inpatients in its Central Florida hospitals, with a steady increase in cases. Parikh advised against going out for New Year’s Eve, while continuing to wear masks and stay socially distant.

“We’re not at the levels we saw over the summer, and we definitely don’t want to get there,” Parikh said. “We can’t let our guard down.”