Connie Lewis, R.N., receives her COVID-19 vaccine at Montgomery Memorial Hospital
TROY, N.C. -- Frontline health care workers at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital (MMH) received their first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
The Moderna vaccine received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. FirstHealth of the Carolinas is continuing to deliver vaccines to workers throughout its mid-Carolinas service area according to phases determined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Rebecca W. Carter, MSN, R.N., president of MMH, said staff members were excited to see doses of the vaccine arrive.
“This pandemic has put an incredible amount of extra strain on our health care heroes, so the arrival of the vaccine could not have come at a better time,” she said. “We know there is much more work to do to control the virus and return to normal, and today is an important step in the right direction.”
Michelle Millen, R.N., director of quality, and Felicia Vielbaum, PharmD, pharmacy director, are overseeing the vaccination efforts at Montgomery Memorial. Millen administered the first vaccines at the hospital and described the day as emotional and encouraging.
“This has been a difficult year for so many, and our health care workers need relief,” said Millen. “We’re encouraged that this vaccine is going to start to relieve some of the burden of this pandemic.”
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 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.