Hospitals across the region begin vaccinating frontline workers

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
First COVID-19 vaccinations in Philadelphia to begin Wednesday
First COVID-19 vaccinations in Philadelphia to begin Wednesday

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- All eyes are on the front line workers who are now receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Now, those who got their shot are encouraging others to do so.

Rosetta Oliver, a nurse manager, was the first member of the Cooper University Hospital staff to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday morning.

She is one of 975 staffers who were prioritized to receive the shot after the first shipment was received from the state health department.

The New Jersey Department of Health is expecting another order of more than 85,000 doses to be in by next week.

All eyes on the front line workers receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Now, those who got their shot are encouraging others to do so.

Health officials urge caution even as COVID-19 vaccines arrive

As vaccines begin to arrive in the Delaware Valley, health officials urged residents to continue to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The staffers were chosen based on possible exposure and any pre-existing conditions.

Thirty Cooper staffers will receive the vaccine Tuesday, with the goal of administering all of the 975 doses in the first batch by next week.

Oliver says she was excited to get the vaccination as it means she'll be able to travel and see her family some day soon.

"I'm like, 'Oh, I can't believe it I'm the first!' Okay, I'll get the vaccination, I'm going to do it. Because working here in healthcare at Cooper University Hospital, we saw a lot during the first surge of COVID and nobody wants to go through that, nobody," said Nurse Oliver.

At AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, the first shot was administered at 2:30 p.m.

"Having that confidence and feeling comfortable, it's similar to having the right gear and mask to take care of your patients," said recipient Mannish Trivedi, the Chief of Infectious Diseases.

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While he said that it's not immediately clear to what ingredient people are having allergic reactions, Kim said nothing stands out to him as something that would be high risk.

The State of New Jersey has gotten 76,000 doses for frontline workers from the Centers for Disease Control and expects another 85,000 by next week.

In Philadelphia, Einstein and Jefferson hospitals are storing the Pfizer vaccine at sub-zero temperatures to begin inoculations on Wednesday. The same goes for the VA.

At Einstein, 1,950 of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine doses arrived this week. Einstein was assured they would receive a second shipment of 1,950 doses in three weeks so they can use all the vaccine they received this week for the first dose.

Fifteen-thousand doses of the coronavirus vaccine were allotted to Philadelphia in the first shipments, arriving this week.

Temple Heath also received 3,000 doses and they will begin their immunizations Wednesday, starting with the workers at highest risk for exposure.

In Kent County, Delaware, Elisabeth Cote, a progressive care unit nurse at Bayhealth, received the first dose in the state.

When we asked the newly-vaccinated how it was, or how it felt, they said, "Excited!"

The staffers said they didn't experience any soreness, fever or headaches immediately after their first dose.

We are told after the second dose, is when you may experience some of those minor symptoms.