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Article Type: News

Thousands Receive Vaccine in First Phase of AdventHealth’s Community Vaccinations

With the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines deemed safe and effective by the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) in December 2020, health care workers and communities across the country are mobilizing to make strides in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building upon its initial vaccine rollout to front-line team members, AdventHealth administered tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines to front-line health care workers, first responders and people in the community over age 65, according to each state’s guidance for vaccine eligibility and as outlined by federal guidance.

“Because each state uses a different model for community distribution, the approach used to prioritize vaccine distribution is tailored to our different locations,” said AdventHealth’s chief medical officer Brent Box, MD. “We are eager to continue supporting these efforts to distribute as many doses as possible.”

AdventHealth Orlando team member receives a COVID-19 vaccine.

AdventHealth Orlando team member receives a COVID-19 vaccine.

As vaccination efforts continue to evolve in the many states AdventHealth serves, the organization is committed to helping protect front-line team members and their patients, families and the communities in which they live in accordance with vaccine supply levels and local guidelines. “We are seeing so much enthusiasm around the vaccine from our team members and community,” said Dr. Box. “We have already vaccinated more than 65,000 people and have several thousand appointments scheduled in the coming weeks for second doses.”

The two COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available require two shots that can take about two weeks after the second shot to reach maximum protection. These crucial second doses have already begun for some of AdventHealth’s front-line team members who were among the first to receive the vaccines in December 2020.

Dr. Simmonds documents his COVID-19 vaccine experience for LinkedIn.

Dr. Simmonds documents his COVID-19 vaccine experience for LinkedIn.

Alric Simmonds, MD, chief health equity officer for AdventHealth, who recently shared a video receiving his first dose, is excited about the number of vaccines administered so far but acknowledges the need to encourage those within demographics who may still be unsure of their vaccine readiness. “I chose to document my COVID-19 vaccination to demonstrate how simple it is and to help alleviate any fear and hesitancy around getting vaccinated,” Dr. Simmonds said. “When you have the opportunity to get the vaccine, please choose to be vaccinated.”

AdventHealth Hendersonville provides COVID-19 vaccines to members of historic African American church.

AdventHealth Hendersonville provides COVID-19 vaccines to members of historic African American church.

At this time, AdventHealth is not offering the vaccine to the general public at any of its locations due to limited vaccine supplies and prioritization guidelines but is working with county and state officials to understand if and when additional doses will be provided to each of its locations. As more doses of COVID-19 vaccines become available AdventHealth hopes to continue expanding vaccination opportunities as each state’s guidance and supply allotments allow.

It is important to continue safety measures such as wearing masks, physically distancing and washing hands, even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. To sign up for the latest coronavirus and vaccine updates, visit CoronavirusVaccineAlerts.com.