CEO Update | Recent vaccine changes show program’s complexity
This week, many people practiced the tradition of doing random acts of kindness. I would like to think simple and caring deeds are more common throughout the pandemic. Time after time, we have seen people reach out to those in need and ask, “How can I help?”
Lifelong members of our family offered an example. Dozens of retired Cleveland Clinic nurses came back to administer COVID-19 vaccines to our patients. Listen to them explain why.
We are humbled by their service and compassion.
Our vaccine programs are evolving based on state guidelines. This week in Ohio, we expanded vaccines to eligible Ohioans beyond our patients. Any Ohio resident age 65 and older is now eligible.
Those who are newly eligible may register for our vaccine waitlist. As vaccine supply continues to be limited, we will contact patients once appointments become available. We also encourage the public to consider other options listed on the ODH website.
In Florida, state residents already had access to the vaccine at hospitals and county health departments. Recently, the state announced that vaccine supply would be further divided among retail pharmacies and grocery stores.
As a result of this change, our Cleveland Clinic Florida teams are now vaccinating established patients only. They started with our oldest and most vulnerable patients to schedule appointments.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these complexities. While we are limited by vaccine supply in both states, we have used our allocation to the fullest. More than 75,000 patients and caregivers have completed the series of two doses in our health system.
Some of our caregivers were honored during Black History Month. Local news channels featured them for their leadership and dedication to patient care.
The Rev. Brian Shields, Healing Services Coordinator, spoke to WKYC 3 Studios about how he supports patients, their families and our care teams.
Thank you to all caregivers for being respected leaders in our communities.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President