A turning point — First caregivers receive COVID-19 vaccine

A turning point — First caregivers receive COVID-19 vaccine

Cleveland Clinic began vaccinating caregivers in Ohio and Florida the week of Dec. 14. Distribution to caregivers who want the COVID-19 vaccine will continue in a phased rollout following guidelines determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health and the Florida Department of Health.

“It has been mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting,” says Jennifer Loebick, RN, ICU nurse at Fairview Hospital, and the first caregiver to receive the vaccine. “This day truly is the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Loebick says in her unit they have cared for a COVID-positive patient every day since March 13.

“It’s been a very long nine months,” says Joseph Khabbaza, MD, Marymount Hospital. “There is still a lot of work to do, but to have some of that weight of the risks of ourselves getting infected to kind of minimize that part of it is going to make the upcoming weeks and months just a little bit easier.”

“It’s the first step in creating some normalcy, hopefully keeping this virus at bay and eradicating it," says Christopher McCarthy, RN, Cleveland Clinic Florida - Weston. "I’m glad we got the vaccine.”

Following vaccination of caregivers whose primary work assignment is in a COVID-19 ICU, the next groups who have been identified to receive the vaccine, once we have additional supply include caregivers who work in other Northeast Ohio hospital COVID-19 ICUs, emergency departments and COVID-19 units on regular nursing floors. Vaccinations will expand to more caregivers and areas as the vaccine supply grows with additional shipments and U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizations.

While this is a complex vaccination program that could take several months to complete, eventually every caregiver who wishes to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive the vaccine.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 Toolkit to learn about the vaccine process and read frequently asked questions.

View photos below of caregivers being vaccinated and the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines to main campus. 

Caregivers at Akron General share what it’s like on a COVID-19 unit

Caregivers at Akron General share what it’s like on a COVID-19 unit

We shared this video with our community to show what it’s like to work on a COVID-19 Unit. It helps our community understand why it’s so important to take precautions— to wear a mask, practice social distancing and practice good hand hygiene. 

Our caregivers inspire us to keep moving, and take each day as it comes. Together, we will overcome the many challenges the pandemic brings.

Thank you to each of you for all you do to keep our patients and community safe.