A historic step in the Tri-State's fight against COVID-19 was taken at Deaconess Gateway in Newburgh on Wednesday, where two dozen healthcare workers received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine administration at Deaconess Gateway began at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, with the vaccine being administered to 24 individuals in three groups of eight.
Before that, five other individuals were vaccinated at Deaconess on Tuesday as part of a training session to ensure a smooth process on Wednesday.
"In healthcare, safety is our number one priority - so we believe very much in practice, and in making sure that we're prepared to do things the right way and the safe way," explained Dr. James Porter, President, Deaconess Health System. "So we needed to open a vial yesterday to go through the entire process to be ready for today."
"When we opened that vial, we needed to immunize five people, because we don't want to waste one drop of that precious vaccine," Dr. Porter continued.
According to Dr. Porter, the 24 individuals who received the vaccine on Wednesday morning were healthcare leaders from different departments across the organization, including intensive care, emergency medicine, family medicine, ICU nurses, and more.
"It's exciting that we have the opportunity for this to be the beginning of the end of what's been one of the most difficult times in American history and in healthcare," Dr. Porter said.
Deaconess received nearly 2,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday morning after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization of it.
More Tri-State healthcare workers are scheduled to receive the vaccine later on Wednesday at Baptist Health Madisonville after the hospital also received its shipment of vaccine doses on Tuesday.