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Jupiter Medical Center begins administering COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers

Hospital receives 1,000 doses
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Posted at 1:55 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 23:18:17-05

JUPITER, Fla. — Jupiter Medical Center began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health care workers on Wednesday.

Officials said the hospital received 1,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna on Wednesday morning.

The first round is being given to health workers like doctors, nurses, and staff members who are on the frontlines of fighting the pandemic.

The hospital's plan is to vaccinate workers who face high-risk exposure to COVID-19. That means anyone working at Jupiter Medical Center's COVID Unit, the Emergency Department, and the Intensive Care Unit.

"I'm hoping it gives us a sense of confidence and reassurance," said Dr. Ethan Chapin. "I hope it gives us an extra layer of security. Recalling what Dr. Fauci has told us, we can't stop wearing masks, we can't stop the social distance, everything people can do while we have the vaccine."

The Moderna vaccine must be given in two doses, four weeks apart.

Earlier on Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he's signing an executive order that will allow people who are 65 and older to be vaccinated as the "first priority" once frontline health care workers and residents and staff members at long-term care facilities receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ann Marie Coles is one of three Jupiter Medical Center healthcare workers receiving the Moderna vaccination.

"We've been waiting for this vaccine for a long time and it's been a long couple of months. And now there's a breakthrough so I'm glad to be a part of it," she said.

Jupiter Medical Center received a thousand vials of the Moderna vaccine from the state Wednesday morning.

The first round is being given to healthcare workers like nurses, staff, and to doctors like Ethan Chapin who remain on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.

"I'm fully confident in the technology behind it, the science behind it, the numbers don't lie. We're going to get more information and more data to fine-tune things but what we know now that the technology is solid," he said.

Their plan is to vaccinate workers who face high-risk exposure to COVID-19. That means anyone working in Jupiter Medicals COVID unit, the emergency department, and the intensive care unit.

Lizvet Torres says her decision to get the vaccine had everything to do with her family.

"I decided to get it because I have kids and I want the best for my kids," she said.

Coles says the past ten months have been trying.

"We're still holding it together and I don't know how we've done it," she said.

Officials at Jupiter Medical Center say giving the vaccine to frontline workers is a smart thing. It allows them to continue working and helping those who are already infected. With that in mind, the vaccination requires two doses four weeks apart.