MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Atlantic Health System Tuesday distributed its first shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to eligible team members and physicians, taking a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19. The shots were delivered at Morristown Medical Center and were given to 12 front-line health care workers.
“Today represents a powerful moment of hope and optimism in the fight against COVID-19,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Health System. “We can now begin taking the fight straight to this virus with a safe, highly effective vaccine that reflects groundbreaking scientific achievement. We look forward to delivering this new protection to our team as we remain ready to care for every patient who needs us.”
Atlantic Health System team members inoculated today included physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, paramedics and environmental services supervisors.
“This is a momentous occasion and I’m very happy to be a part of the team at Atlantic Health System leading the way in distributing this vaccine,” said Jeffrey Tanis, RN, Morristown Medical Center. “Together we are showing the community that this a safe and painless way to protect ourselves against the COVID-19 virus.”
Delivering the first vaccine at Atlantic Health System was Valerie Bolcar, RN.
Morristown Medical Center joined five other acute care hospitals across the state in receiving doses this week of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Requiring ultra-cold storage in excess of -70 degrees centigrade, the vaccine utilizes an mRNA platform that has undergone rigorous scientific review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
In accordance with guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health, the vaccine will be distributed initially to all adults who live, work, or are being educated in the state. Phasing will ensure that limited vaccines are distributed in a fair and equitable manner. Phase 1A of the plan, which captures approximately 650,000 people, includes healthcare workers who are paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Acute care hospital workers at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Additional distribution at all Atlantic Health System medical centers will begin as soon as they receive vaccine supply.
Today we administered the first series of COVID-19 vaccinations within Atlantic Health System at Morristown Medical Center. This remarkable milestone brings us one step closer to overcoming COVID-19.#ForwardTogether pic.twitter.com/ycmsNVzFat
— Atlantic Health (@AtlanticHealth) December 16, 2020