10,000th Person Vaccinated at Richmond University Medical Center
Milestone Reached with Vaccination of 91-Year-Old Grandmother Who Emigrated From Greece 62 Years Ago
March 12, 2021 – Earlier today, Aphrodite Mastrantonis, a 91-year-old grandmother of four, became the 10,000th person to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC). This historic milestone for RUMC comes less than five weeks after the hospital vaccinated its 5,000 individual in early February.
“To vaccinate 10,000 people is tremendous and is a huge step forward toward a return to normalcy for our entire community,” president and chief executive officer, Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “You don’t vaccinate this many people easily, it requires a true team effort that includes not just our dedicated staff at the hospital, but the thousands of people from our community who are rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, and their loved ones.”
Originally from Andros, Greece, Mastrantonis came to the United States in 1959. Since the pandemic began over a year ago, she has been living on Staten Island with her daughter, Pauline Mastrantonis-Thaten. She was accompanied to RUMC by her daughter. A recipient of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Mastrantonis will return to RUMC in three weeks to receive her second dose, completing her vaccination process.
“Since the pandemic began, she’s been watching the news, and has been in shock over the severity of the pandemic, so she is very relieved to feel safe now that she is vaccinated,” Mastrantonis-Thaten said, speaking for her mother. “Since this all began, she has not been going out, and only sees her immediate family, including her four grandkids. After she has her second dose, she wants to begin going back to church, start to see more family and friends, and accept more visitors into her home.”
Following her first dose of the vaccine, RUMC administration presented Mastrantonis with a shirt celebrating her role as the 10,000th vaccine recipient. As she left the hospital, staff lined the hallway, applauding her as show of thanks for her decision to be vaccinated. Outside RUMC, Mastrantonis and her daughter were provided with cupcakes from Royal Crown Bakery on Staten Island. Each cupcake had the words “10K” on top in white or brown frosting. Over 400 cupcakes were provided and also distributed to everyone who received a vaccination.
Following guidelines from the New York State Department of Health, RUMC has been vaccinating eligible individuals since mid-December. On February 8 of this year, RUMC vaccinated its 5,000th individual, a 66-year-old woman who had undergone a successful liver transplant in the fall of 2020. RUMC continues to vaccinate hundreds of individuals weekly, numbers that the hospital anticipates will grow as more and more people become eligible for vaccination.
While COVID-19 vaccinations progress, RUMC also continues to care for individuals infected by the virus. Throughout January, COVID-19 inpatient census at RUMC fluctuated between the high 50s to low 70s. In February, inpatient volume steadily decreased, dropping into the 30s by the end of the month. Now into early March, inpatient volume continues to remain in the low 30s.
This Sunday, March 14, will be the 1-year anniversary of RUMC admitting its first COVID-19 positive patient. The patient surge would come quickly for the West Brighton hospital and by April 8, just over three weeks after its first admission, RUMC would be caring for 210 COVID-19 positive inpatients. Since last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, RUMC has treated and discharged over 3,000 people affected by the virus. RUMC also continues to provide long term and short term treatment to hundreds of recovered individuals though it’s comprehensive Post COVID-19 Care Center.
Richmond University Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. The medical center provides premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. RUMC does this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit www.rumcsi.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.