Wellspan Health announced today that the first round of Pfizer COIVD-19 vaccines have arrived at Gettysburg and its six other hospitals and are being administered to front-line staff.
Wellspan infectious disease doctor Eugene Curley III said the vaccinations began at 6:00 a.m. this morning and were being given to a wide variety of hospital staff, from ICU to dietary. “It’s not just doctors and nurses,” he said.
Curley said hundreds of front line care workers at Gettysburg will be vaccinated either today or tomorrow and that vaccinations will continue every other day in two five-hour shifts per day.
“It’s extremely important to get people vaccinated. We’re seeing tremendous community spread of this virus. It’s very important for protecting not only our staff but also our patients,” said Curley.
Curley said the health care workers were generally in good spirits and excited about the vaccine. “A large majority of our front line workers are going to be getting this vaccine. The vaccine’s effectiveness is overwhelmingly positive. Once you can see the data. Once you see can see how effective it is. The side effects are comparable to other vaccines.”
Curley said the rest of Wellspan’s healthcare personnel would receive vaccines after the front-line workers and that immunizations would open up to the community after that.
“The last month or so the numbers are definitely going the wrong direction. The cases are the worst they’ve ever been in the pandemic. This is one of the steps we need to turn the corner,” said Curley.
Curley said people who have already had COVID are still recommended to get the vaccine. “We’ve seen a number of reports of cases of people getting the virus twice,” he said.