FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today, Lee Health administered the COVID-19 vaccine to its first employees. The Pfizer vaccine arrived at the health system on Dec. 22, and Samara Marin, RN, Henry Jackson, Transportation Services, and Dr. Stephanie Stovall, Pediatric Infection Prevention, were the first to receive the vaccine.
“We are ready. Lee Health has followed guidelines from the CDC and the State of Florida to establish our vaccination plan,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Lee Health. “This vaccine provides hope that we can soon put an end to this long, arduous journey. I am so proud of our frontline workers. Throughout this pandemic, they never wavered in their commitment to provide safe, compassionate care to our patients.”
To ensure a safe and effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is being administered at Gulf Coast Medical Center and Cape Coral Hospital where the health system has deployed deep freezers to keep the vaccine at the appropriate temperatures. Vaccination of health care workers and patients in Lee Health’s three skilled nursing facilities began as well.
Due to demand for the vaccine, supplies are limited at first. Currently, there is no official timetable on when the public will be able to receive the vaccination. Upon availability, Lee Health will begin to schedule appointments for those who want to be vaccinated. The health system will have more information to share in the coming weeks.
“While we wait for the vaccine to become widely available in our community, we ask that residents and visitors continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask in public and wash their hands often,” said Alex Daneshmand, D.O., MBA, FAAP, chief quality and patient safety officer at Lee Health. “Until we reach herd immunity and the CDC changes its guidance on wearing PPE, Lee Health staff will continue to wear the appropriate level of PPE even after they are vaccinated.”
The roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine has paved the way for the biggest mass vaccination effort in U.S. history.
For more information, visit LeeHealth.org.