Huntington Hospital received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine last Thursday. In line with federal guidelines and a framework based on risk-exposure and the ability to provide ongoing care during the pandemic, those at the frontlines of care are among the first group eligible to receive these initial doses. Huntington Hospital hopes to offer the vaccine to its entire enterprise of employees, physicians and allied health providers in short order.
“We have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our dedicated healthcare workers who have bravely served their community during this pandemic,” said Lori J. Morgan, president and CEO of Huntington Hospital. “Though we are currently responding to record-breaking number of COVID-19 patients and know the end to this pandemic is not yet in sight, we rightfully pause to appreciate this moment in the history of healthcare and our hospital.”
Huntington Hospital received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which requires 21 days in between the first and second doses. The hospital is working closely with Pasadena Public Health to support how additional anticipated shipments of the vaccine can be distributed per guidelines in the coming weeks to skilled nursing facilities, community first responders and others eligible to receive the first doses. California, Los Angeles County and Pasadena departments of public health will decide when the vaccine will be offered to the general public and how to prioritize groups that receive it.
Sade Luna who works in Huntington Hospital’s environmental services department was among the first frontline employees vaccinated. When asked how she felt about the vaccine, she shared, “I feel amazing because we are making history today.” Further, when she was asked what led her to feel confident about receiving the vaccine, she shared, “Well, what came to mind is that we’ve got to start somewhere, you know? And if we don’t start now, then we’re not going to be done with this pandemic.”
However, the pandemic is not over and with the holidays approaching, there is growing concern that this surge has not peaked yet.
“While the vaccine gives us great hope for the coming year, we need your help as we continue to experience a crush of COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Morgan. “We are pleading with the community to help us stop the current surge by following health orders: limit activities to those that are essential only, continue to wear a mask and remain physically distance when engaging in essential activities, and especially refrain from gathering with anyone outside of your household and non-essential travel during the holidays.”
For more information, visit Huntington Hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine page for updates: huntingtonhospital.org/covid-19-vaccine.