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A Shot of Hope: WellSpan receives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

December 15, 2020

Included in Pennsylvania’s first 100 hospitals to receive shipments, WellSpan prepares to vaccinate frontline team members

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A Shot of Hope: WellSpan receives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

WellSpan Health has received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and will begin administering them to care team members this week.

WellSpan was among the state’s first 100 hospitals to receive vaccine shipments from Pfizer. In alignment with the PA Department of Health’s phased approach to vaccination, the initial doses of the vaccine will be given to caregivers at the highest risk for exposure to COVID-19. As additional doses become available, vaccine will be offered to all WellSpan employees and patients.

Tuesday morning, the first vaccine shipment arrived at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, PA. Six other WellSpan hospitals are expected to receive their shipments this week, including WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital, WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital, WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital and WellSpan York Hospital. Each of them is prepared to begin administering the vaccine to team members this week.

“The COVID-19 vaccine represents a bright spot for our teams who have tirelessly cared for their friends and neighbors with COVID-19,” said WellSpan Health President and CEO Roxanna Gapstur, Ph.D., R.N. “We are encouraged by the available data, which tells us the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective in lowering a person’s risk for developing COVID-19. Our hope is the vaccination will allow our teams and patients to stay healthy while alleviating the strain on health systems across Pennsylvania.”

The vaccine has been through a rigorous process before being approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Based on the available research data, WellSpan Health endorses the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are confident that this vaccine will slow the spread and help our community turn the corner in this pandemic,” said Dr. Eugene Curley, Infectious Disease Specialist at WellSpan Health, who reviewed the available research data with his team members. “We support the vaccine as safe and effective. WellSpan is encouraging team members to get vaccinated, and as additional doses become available, will encourage our community members to receive the vaccine.”

It will take several months until vaccine is broadly available for the general public. In the meantime, WellSpan encourages everyone to continue to follow safety precautions: wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart from others.

Community members seeking additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine should visit WellSpan’s dedicated COVID-19 Information web page: https://www.wellspan.org/covid19/covid-19-vaccine/