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O'Bleness Hospital in Athens, OH. (Nate Swanson | For The Post)

OhioHealth hospitals start administering COVID-19 vaccine to staffs

A pilot group at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital received the first round of COVID-19 vaccines Friday after the vaccine was approved by the FDA.

Doses were delivered to O’Bleness and Riverside Methodist Hospital, which began giving vaccinations to staff Dec. 18 and Dec. 16 respectively, according to a press release. Nearly 2,000 doses were delivered to the locations.

As detailed in Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s vaccine rollout plan, health care workers will be the first to receive the vaccine.

“We began rolling out vaccines to frontline workers at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital last Friday and will continue to do so until we have vaccinated all who wish to receive it,” Mark Seckinger, O’Bleness president, said. “We’re all very grateful for this light at the end of the tunnel.” 

According to the press release, the first of the health care workers to receive the vaccine will be those in direct patient contact. The next phase will include those who are at a moderate risk, including OhioHealth physician group associates and those in rehabilitation and imaging. The final step will be to have all OhioHealth associates and staff vaccinated. 

“We are very excited about this next step in the battle against COVID-19,” Seckinger said in the press release. “We have worked together at OhioHealth to get the vaccine, to plan for our staff to get vaccinated, and to continue to care for our patients at the very highest levels. Our staff has answered the call, they have worked tirelessly to save lives, and now this vaccine is available to them, to keep them healthy as the battle against COVID-19 continues.”

Vaccines will be available “in the coming days” at other OhioHealth regional care sites in the same phased approach. OhioHealth has also invested in the appropriate storage facilities needed for the vaccines, according to the press release.

We had a successful first COVID-19 vaccination event at the Athens Community Center today for some groups in Tier 1a....

Posted by Athens City-County Health Department on Wednesday, December 23, 2020

“This is the most critical moment we have been waiting months for,” Joseph Gastaldo, OhioHealth medical director of infectious diseases, said in the press release. “We believe after going through the rigor of testing and trials, just at an accelerated pace, this vaccine is safe.”


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