ORLANDO, Florida – For the first time, Orlando Health clinicians and non-clinicians at risk received the COVID-19 vaccine, while AdventHealth continued to vaccinate frontline health workers on Friday.
Both are using Pfizer vaccines pending FDA approval of the Moderna vaccine.
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Orlando Health is currently using the Orlando Regional Medical Center as the vaccine distribution center, while AdventHealth’s Scientific Director has announced plans for a third distribution site at its Daytona Beach site in addition to the Celebration and d ‘Orlando.
Dr Rebecca Gomez is the medical director of the AdventHealth observation unit and received her first dose of vaccine earlier this week.
“It’s a huge first step,” she said. “We have followed enough of the thousands of people who have received it and we have a pretty good idea of the risks and the low risks.”
It comes as COVID-19 numbers soar across the country. In Volusia County, leaders are preparing for large-scale vaccination clinics once a vaccine is ready for mass distribution.
“It can be in large venues such as Daytona International Speedway,” said Dr Peter Springer, Volusia County operational medical director. “It could be in places like churches or fire stations all over the county.”
“We haven’t seen numbers like this since the summer surge in July and August,” Holly Smith of the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County. “The COVID-19 vaccine is essential in preventing the spread of the virus, but we need to take an effective evidence-based approach to stop the spread.”
For Gomez, that means continuing to take precautions this holiday season.
“Keep being vigilant, keep wearing your mask,” she said. “Keep in mind that the virus is still out there and when you get the chance, get vaccinated.”
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