December 29, 2020
Orlando, Fla. — HCA Healthcare’s North Florida Division announced today that its hospitals in the Orlando Market have received their first distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to be securely stored and safely administered according to the state and federal prioritization guidelines. The first vaccinations were administered today using vaccines from the Pfizer supply that was initially allocated to Central Florida. HCA Healthcare hospitals will also receive the Moderna vaccine in the coming days.
Prioritized colleagues serving on the frontlines at Central Florida Regional Hospital, Osceola Regional Medical Center, Poinciana Medical Center, and Oviedo Medical Center have signed up, in advance, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an added measure to help protect themselves and others.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is a pivotal turning point in our fight against this virus. The progress that has been made in these past few months is astounding. We are grateful to be able to provide this added protection to our care team members who have been an immense source of strength and support for our communities,” said Barbara Watson, CNO at Osceola Regional Medical Center. “As vaccine supplies steadily increase, our goal is to make the vaccine available to every colleague who wishes to receive it. Although the vaccine will not be mandatory, we believe it is a major step in ending the pandemic.”
Clinical and emergency operations teams at the HCA Healthcare Orlando Market hospitals followed CDC guidance in the development of detailed internal plans which include state and federal recommendations for vaccine storage and administration processes. At this time, the hospitals are only administering the vaccine to employees as healthcare workers are a priority group as determined by the CDC. All HCA Healthcare Orlando Market hospitals will continue to follow rigorous practices for ensuring the safety of patients, colleagues and visitors. The hospitals will also continue to promote mask wearing, good hand hygiene and social distancing to colleagues and community members in their daily lives.
“National experts have stressed that continuing these practices will be important even after vaccines become more widely available to the general public,” said Dr. Sean Benoit, CMO at Central Florida Regional Hospital. “Together, the COVID-19 vaccination and following the CDC’s recommendations for how to protect ourselves and others will offer the best protection from contracting and spreading COVID-19. The pandemic affects us all, so we must do all we can to end it.”