PVHMC vaccinates ‘healthcare heroes’

On Thursday Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) received and began administering the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to its frontline associates and physicians.

Nearly 500 medical professionals who are considered high-risk of COVID-19 exposure, were among the first staff members to receive the vaccine. The inoculation was approved under an Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. 

“It was a proud and historic moment to witness our first associates receive this long-awaited vaccine,” said Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services Darlene Scafiddi, RN, MSN. “We are hopeful that this vaccine is the beginning of the end of this pandemic. Until then, we are grateful that the vaccine will provide added protection to our frontline staff, who are tirelessly providing care to our patients.”

Over the next few days, the hospital will continue to administer vaccines to associates and physicians in phase 1A, in accordance with the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccines. PVHMC anticipates that it will be able to provide vaccines to all of its health care workers who wish to receive it by the end of January.

The first five recipients included Respiratory Care Practitioner Anna Gibson; Medical Director of Pulmonology Dr. Gurbinder Sadana; Medical Laboratory Assistant Wendy Coles; environmental services associate Flor Escobar; and Emergency Department Nurse Aspen Di Ioli.

“I think everybody should be getting this and take care of each other,” said Ms. Gibson, who works in the COVID-19 units. “It’s not so much about us, it’s about other people as well. If we can cure the world and get everybody back to normal life, I’m all for it.”

The process of immunizing all community members who want to receive the vaccine is expected to take about six months. Amidst the current surge of COVID-19 across the region, PVHMC urges the community to remain vigilant in practicing preventative measures such as wearing masks, staying home, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

The hospital remains a safe place to seek care. Please do not delay emergency care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a healthcare setting. If you are experiencing moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms, it is crucial that you seek immediate emergency medical care. Prompt testing and care improves outcomes. PVHMC is taking extra steps to ensure patient safety.

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