Front line healthcare workers who have been treating COVID-19 patients since March of last year received the first inoculations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine today at Richmond University Medical Center. The recipients will receive a booster injection three weeks from today on January 4, 2021.
Following guidance from the New York State Department of Health, RUMC began providing vaccinations to its medical staff so they can protect themselves, patients, and their families. The first group to receive the new vaccine included chief of critical care, Jay Nfonoyim, MD; Johnathon LeBaron, DO, FACEP, chair for the department of emergency medicine; paramedic Jeff Brown; respiratory therapist Sunil Nilavarath; Intensive Care Unit nurse Yolanda Benito; and emergency department nurse, Samantha Maizer.
“Today marks an historic day at Richmond University Medical Center. Today is the turning of the tide in the battle against COVID-19,” president and chief executive officer, Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “Built around a foundation of exceptional medical professionals, there is an old saying that defines Richmond University Medical Center’s commitment to our community: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Since the pandemic began, RUMC has treated and discharged over 1,600 COVID-19 patients. Following guidance from the New York State Department of Health, RUMC has developed protocols to ensure hospital staff are provided with the vaccine as quickly as possible, beginning with front line healthcare personnel.
“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection for people, their coworkers, their family, and if they are one of our staff, the patients we treat each day,” Dr. LeBaron said before receiving his own inoculation. “This vaccine is just another tool we now have that gives us the best chance of getting back to normal sooner.”
Dr. LeBaron added that despite the arrival of the vaccine, COVID-19 is not going to go away overnight. “Until these vaccines become more readily available, I’m asking everyone to please continue practicing social distancing, avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands often, and when your time comes, please get vaccinated,” he said.
· Comments by President and CEO, Dr. Daniel J. Messina: https://youtu.be/9GZyKqew3tQ
· Comments by Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Johnathon LeBaron: https://youtu.be/_soslivCOj8
· Vaccination of Chief of Critical care, Dr. Jay Nfonoyim: https://youtu.be/GZ52qEyN99A
· Vaccination of respiratory therapist Sunil Nilavarath: https://youtu.be/KMGnj24ogiI
· Vaccination of Intensive Care Unit nurse Yolanda Benito: https://youtu.be/kdm85ePs9t4
· Vaccination of Paramedic Jeff Brown: https://youtu.be/GzhEjcLiapk
· Setting up vaccination work station: https://youtu.be/mFMfYTCiFC8