FirstHealth of the Carolinas began vaccinating frontline health care workers against COVID-19 on Wednesday at its hospital campuses in Richmond and Hoke counties, and workers at Montgomery Memorial Hospital will begin receiving shots in the coming days.
Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived at FirstHealth’s Richmond and Hoke hospitals on Tuesday afternoon after it received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As supplies expand, FirstHealth will continue to vaccinate its workforce according to phases determined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
“Today is a great day for our frontline workers here. The pandemic has strained all of us, and I know our medical and hospital staffs were excited to see COVID-19 vaccines arrive,” said John Jackson, president of the southern region and administrator of Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond.
“We will work quickly to vaccinate those most at risk and continue to do everything we can to keep our patients and staff safe.”
Susan Beaty, R.N., president of the eastern region and administrator of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke, echoed Jackson’s thoughts.
“This really is about the heroic efforts of our frontline staff, both here at MRH-Hoke and across the FirstHealth system,” she said. “I’m excited to see vaccines arrive, and we are even more excited that they will help us bring this pandemic under control.”
FirstHealth’s vaccine efforts will coincide with ongoing COVID-19 mitigation strategies that include visitation restrictions, health screenings at all FirstHealth facilities and more.
FirstHealth also encourages people in the Sandhills to continue using the 3 Ws - wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands – to fight the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
FirstHealth will follow guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as it receives additional doses. Availability of the vaccine will depend on how many doses FirstHealth receives and which phase of the rollout plan the state is in. Those most at risk from COVID-19 will receive it first. Read more about the full schedule.
Great care has been taken to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. More than 70,000 people have participated in clinical trials for two vaccines to test their safety and efficacy, and to date, those vaccines are nearly 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no safety concerns.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure the vaccines are safe and effective and granted an Emergency Use Authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also released guidance on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Do you have additional vaccine questions? Visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website for more details. For additional information on FirstHealth’s response to the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 resources page.