Premier Health Vaccinates Workers on Front Lines of COVID-19 Fight

Eleven Doses of Moderna Vaccine Given Monday at Upper Valley Medical Center

Troy, OH (December 21, 2020)
- Premier Health today began vaccinating employees and providers who routinely care for patients who are positive for the COVID-19 virus, an uplifting milestone nine months into a historic global pandemic.

Eleven doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were given late Monday afternoon at Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center in Miami County, which received 600 doses of the vaccine earlier in the day and will continue to vaccinate employees and providers in the days and weeks ahead. Additional vaccine is expected this week at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood, Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville, and Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.

“As a physician who has seen the toll that this (virus) has taken on families, staff, and the country, I want to see the end of this virus that has devastated us,” said Dr. Gabriel Hays, a critical care physician at Upper Valley Medical Center, just moments after receiving the vaccine. “I want to see the end to the pain and suffering that it’s caused. This is the first step in doing that.”

The vaccinations are voluntary, though Premier Health is encouraging employees and providers to receive them as a preventive measure. In keeping with guidance from the State of Ohio, the health system is prioritizing individuals who routinely work in areas designated higher risk that provide direct patient care, support, or interaction with patients with COVID-19.

In total, Premier Health expects to receive 5,900 doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate nearly half of its employees and providers through clinics that run through early January. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered beginning January 20 and continuing through early February.

Despite such progress, Premier Health and other health care providers must continue to adhere to a range of practices to limit the spread of the virus, including visitor restrictions.

A multidisciplinary COVID-19 vaccine planning team within Premier Health has been meeting since October to prepare for vaccinating the work force. The group has been focused on ensuring the necessary vaccination storage and associated supplies are in place; setting priorities for how the vaccine is administered; and determining logistics for how vaccinations will take place.

As Premier Health receives additional public health guidance, the health system will ensure patients are aware of how they can get vaccinated.

“It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate gift for our health care heroes than this vaccine,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “They, along with health care workers across the region and nation, have shown such dedication and selflessness under very difficult circumstances – and the support from the community has been equally incredible. While the challenges of this pandemic are far from over, this vaccine can serve as a real source of hope for all of us during this holiday season.”

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