December 22, 2020
UPMC Wellsboro Frontline Workers Receive COVID-19 Vaccinations
In a historic moment that many hope will mark the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic, UPMC Wellsboro vaccinated several front-line health care workers with the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine today. It is anticipated that UPMC Wellsboro will be able to provide a vaccine to all its front-line health care workers who wish to receive it by the end of January.
“I see the vaccine not only as an additional safety measure, but as an opportunity to help us work toward getting back to life before the pandemic,” said Terri Locey, BSN, Surgical Services, UPMC Wellsboro. “We’re doing whatever we can to offer the best care as safely as possible, and the vaccination not only adds an element of safety for me, it’s for my family and our patients as well.”
In accordance with state and federal distribution guidelines for prioritizing who receives these still-limited vaccines, UPMC began vaccinating its health care workers after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer product and CDC issued updated guidelines.
“Our staff have been tirelessly working on the frontlines of this pandemic for months and this vaccine brings a new hope for us,” said Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Wellsboro and UPMC Cole. “The vaccine is hope that someday soon the weight of the pandemic will lift from our providers and staff. I admire their courage and the example they’re setting every day as we continue to answer the call and do whatever it takes to ensure the highest quality care is delivered to every patient who comes through our doors.”
UPMC hospitals and long-term care facilities across Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland are awaiting thousands of doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. The vaccination program for UPMC’s health care workers is voluntary. While the general public will not be able to receive vaccinations in this initial phase, the shots will be made available to the communities UPMC serves as soon as possible.