Pictured – Donalsonville Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Holley received the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday from Penny Horne, RN, County Nurse Manager at the Seminole County Department of Health
The first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 arrived on Tuesday, December 22 at the Seminole County Public Health complex in Donalsonville. Dr. Jeff Holley, Donalsonville Hospital Chief of Staff, was the first medical staff physician to receive the vaccine on Tuesday morning. He was followed by Pam Register, Respiratory Therapist Supervisor and other hospital employees involved in direct COVID-19 patient care. Donalsonville Hospital front line workers will begin receiving the vaccine immediately. Seminole Manor Nursing Home residents will receive their vaccinations through Walgreens Pharmacy.
Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine requires a second dose within 28 days.
“Our staff is eager and ready to go,” said Chuck Orrick, Donalsonville Hospital Administrator, “This has been a huge undertaking and Ms. Horne has been absolutely essential in getting this vaccine to rural Georgia as quickly has she did. We are so very appreciative of everyone who has worked tirelessly to plan and execute this historic public health event.”
Orrick says the vaccine will be staggered to ensure adequate staffing remains in place in the event of vaccination side effects, known to be more common after the second dose. Once the front-line employees are vaccinated, the next tier of essential hospital and medical office workers will be offered the opportunity as more doses become available.
Dr. Holley addressed the room before receiving his vaccine and emphasized that this was a monumental day. It is the beginning of the road back to normalcy, and this vaccine is the result of much sacrifice and sorrow across our state and nation. Holley said, “It has been amazing how our community, neighbors, patients and employees have pulled together through this pandemic. This is a day for us all to remember – a historic day in modern medicine.”
Dr. Holley also sends out words of encouragement for all to get the vaccine when available, continue to wear masks in public and follow all of the COVID-19 safety precautions.
“We are not out of this yet, but this vaccine is certainly a light showing us out of the darkness we have been in all year long,” added Holley.
More information about when vaccines will be available for the general population will be coming in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Seminole County residents should continue to follow recommended safety precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.