Atrium Medical Center received 1,000 first-dose shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday and began inoculating frontline healthcare workers today.
Atrium is one of the first hospitals in the Cincinnati region to receive and begin vaccinating its healthcare workers with the Moderna vaccine. Mercy Health received the first-dose vaccine Wednesday and began inoculating its workers, first at its Mercy Health-West campus. Mercy’s Fairfield hospital will receive its portion of the vaccine today, according to the hospital.
On Tuesday morning, The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati received 2,500 first-dose doses and began vaccinating its healthcare employees that afternoon.
The first Atrium employee to receive the Moderna vaccine was Wendy Mitchell, a clinical nurse manager of Atrium’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center and Observation Unit. She said it was important for her to receive the vaccine to protect herself, her patients and her family.
“Getting this vaccine is not just about me,” she said. “It’s about my community, it’s about every single patient who comes into Atrium Medical Center, it’s about my family.”
It’s also for her colleagues.
“For months, I have seen the teamwork going on day in and day out at Atrium Medical Center,” Mitchell said. “This is just one more way to help the team. We have been stretched, but we continue to come together for patients and for each other.”
Pfizer and Moderna are the only two manufacturers of the novel coronavirus vaccine that’s received the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization to administer the vaccine. Both vaccines are administered in two doses, where the second dose is administered three weeks after the first.
Statewide, more than 8,400 people as of Monday have received the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which includes frontline healthcare workers and residents at nursing homes and acute care facilities. They are two-dose vaccinations.
Inoculation efforts began on Dec. 14 where 47 people statewide received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. By the end of the first week, more than 7,700 people received it.
Moderna’s novel coronavirus vaccine began arriving in Ohio on Monday.
In Butler County, 123 as of Monday, have received the first dose of either the COVID-19 vaccine. There have been 66 people that received the first dose in Warren County, and 577 in Hamilton County.
Mitchell said to take the vaccine or not is a decision people need to make for themselves.
“Atrium and Premier have provided a lot of information to employees, so I was able to research it for myself and felt comfortable getting vaccinated. I would encourage everyone to talk with their doctor about the vaccine and if it’s right for them,” she said
There are two other potential vaccines that will seek the FDA’s emergency use authorization in January, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is to be a one-dose vaccination, while AstraZeneca will be like Pfizer and Moderna where it will require two doses.
Michael D. Pitman has been a reporter in southwest Ohio since 1999. He's covered local governments in Warren and Butler counties, as well as state and national issues. He currently covers the cities of Fairfield and Hamilton.