Floyd began vaccinating caregivers Friday against COVID-19 after receiving 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
“This is a big day for Floyd and a big day for our community, and we hope this is the beginning of a trend where everybody in our region gets vaccinated, frontline workers first,” said Floyd President and CEO Kurt Stuenkel. “I am looking forward to getting the vaccine after all the frontline workers get the opportunity to be first.”
CDC guidelines call for frontline medical workers to be the first to receive the shot in the fight against the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 Americans. The vaccine will eventually be rolled out to the general public, but a timetable has not been set. The Pfizer vaccine will be administered in two doses, approximately three weeks apart.
The first Floyd Medical Center employee to receive the vaccine was Robin Cater, a critical care nurse who was part of the team that made preparations as the hospital treated its first COVID-19 patient in March.
“It felt just like getting the flu shot,” Cater said after getting the vaccine in her left arm. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and very thankful. I am also proud of Floyd and proud of our efforts to get the vaccine here. The vaccine is safe, and it is really going to make a difference.”
The vaccines arrived Thursday and have been deposited in sub-zero freezers Floyd had to acquire to keep the doses at the recommended temperatures.
Dr. Ken Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Floyd, said he is optimistic that the arrival of the vaccine signals the eventual end of the pandemic.
“It’s been a huge team effort and I am impressed with how we were able to make this happen so quickly,” Jones said.
Sheila Bennett, Executive Vice President and Chief of Patient Services at Floyd, said arrival of the vaccine is great news.
“Something that brings hope is always welcome,” Bennett said. “I think it also shows that Floyd continues to be a health care leader in treating COVID-19.