HHC Receives Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine & Administers First Dose to Frontline Workers
Holyoke, MA – On Tuesday, December 22nd Holyoke Health Center’s CEO, Jay Breines, announced the arrival of the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. “Our staff have been preparing for this over the past few weeks and within hours of the vaccine arrival, our vaccine clinic was put into final operational state and the first vaccines are now being administered to our staff”. The Holyoke Health Center, located at 230 Maple Street in Holyoke, is among the first community health centers in the state to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for vaccination of their frontline healthcare workers.
The Holyoke Health Center received a total of 400 vaccinations between their two health center locations in Holyoke and Chicopee. According to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan, healthcare workers are the first group to receive the vaccine during Phase 1 of the plan. Marlo Connor, Holyoke Health Center’s Chief Operating Officer stated “the goal is to reach universal vaccination within our health center staff so that we can be at full strength to implement the next, larger phase to vaccinate all of our high risk patients and eventually any of our patients who want to be vaccinated in the coming months.”
The Holyoke Health Center hosted their first COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for high priority staff on Wednesday, December 23rd. Among the first who received the vaccine on Wednesday morning was Holyoke Health Center’s Chief Medical Officer, Alejandro Esparza-Perez, who felt it was important to show staff and patients alike that getting vaccinated is one of the most important things anyone can do at this time, and that it is safe and effective. During the first vaccine clinic, CMO, Dr. Esparza stated “I am thankful for all the healthcare workers who continue to work tirelessly, and most importantly, I am thankful for all those who are choosing to get vaccinated because your actions speak louder than words - you are all an example of strength and doing your part to once and for all end this pandemic. The only way we are going to defeat this terrible virus is to band together and get vaccinated.”
Over the next two weeks the Holyoke Health Center will continue to vaccinate all employees who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine requires a two-dose vaccination, and the second dose will be administered 28 days after the first dose was received. The Holyoke Health Center anticipates additional shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021 to begin administering to health center patients as part of the Commonwealth’s Phase 2 Vaccine Plan.