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.