Health First Administers Nearly 2,000 COVID-19 Doses to Community in Three Days

By  //  January 13, 2021

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HEALTH FIRST customers experienced little or no wait throughout their visit

Health First got back to administering vaccinations full-speed Friday, Jan. 8 following a 1,950-dose resupply from the state just hours earlier. Those vaccinated (including 1,931 seniors) were surprised at the ease and speed of the process. (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First got back to administering vaccinations full-speed Friday, Jan. 8 following a 1,950-dose resupply from the state just hours earlier. Those vaccinated (including 1,931 seniors) were surprised at the ease and speed of the process.

David McGinty, 74, remembered getting vaccinated against polio as a schoolboy in rural Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 1955.

“This vaccine has already been tested. Back then, they were giving half the kids live vaccines and the other half saline — and my parents couldn’t wait to sign me up,” he said.

David was at the vaccination center just across the street from Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center with his wife, Judy, 73, who was born here in Brevard County.

“Hopefully, it’s the beginning of the end,” she said of the virus.

“We’ll get back to being around people that we love. Be able to hug them again without worry — not have to ask, ‘Who have you been with the last two weeks?’ It’s the beginning of the end of this.”

David McGinty, left, was at the vaccination center just across the street from Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center with his wife, Judy, right, who was born here in Brevard County. McGinty, 74, remembered getting vaccinated against polio as a schoolboy in rural Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 1955. (Health First image)

Online registration following the new supply of 1,950 vaccine doses filled up in less than one hour the evening before. Those leaving the facility thanked staff and expressed satisfaction at how quickly and smoothly the process went.

“Our customers experienced little or no wait throughout their visit,” said Brian Connor, Chief Operating Officer, Health First Outpatient & Wellness Services.

“Over three days, we were able to deliver nearly 2,000 vaccines to members of our community who are 65 and older and frontline healthcare workers with zero waste. We’re so honored to be part of the vaccine delivery distribution and look forward to receiving additional shipments to support the healthcare needs of Brevard residents.”

Dr. Jeffrey Stalnaker, Chief Clinical Officer, Health First, said the important work of vaccinations isn’t strictly self-protection but a vast, collective immune response often called “herd immunity.” (Health First image)

Dr. Jeffrey Stalnaker, Chief Clinical Officer, Health First, said the important work of vaccinations isn’t strictly self-protection but a vast, collective immune response often called “herd immunity.”

“In order to ultimately defeat the virus, we have to reach herd immunity, and you don’t want to reach it by having 70% of our population infected. That’s not winning the war. The best and the easiest way is to vaccinate folks. That’s what we’ve done with every other infectious disease that we’ve been able to conquer, and that’s the point here.”

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Told there was a newly vaccinated senior in the room who was one of the earliest recipients of Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine, he said, “Perfect example. There are diseases that for all practical purposes no longer exist in the world, and that’s because we’ve literally vaccinated them out of existence.”

Now, he said, it’s Health First’s duty to work diligently to administer this new protection and fight back against the spread of the novel coronavirus here in Florida.

Visit HF.org/staywell for continuing developments and updates on the availability of the coronavirus vaccine and future available reservation appointments.

Visit HF.org/staywell for continuing developments and updates on the availability of the coronavirus vaccine and future available reservation appointments.

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