Vaccinations to frontline health workers have begun at York Hospital, according to a press release.

York Hospital received its first shipment of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccination on Monday and vaccinations were administered to caregivers beginning Tuesday at 8 a.m., the release said.

A group has been meeting regularly at the hospital to develop and implement a vaccine clinic program, the release said, which begun with high-risk caregivers in all roles in emergent care, inpatient care and intensive care settings.

Additionally, York Hospital offered the vaccine to all employed caregivers and credentialed medical staff in the clinic's next phase, which, according to the release, was scheduled to begin late Tuesday and run through the end of December.

The hospital believes its initial supply of the Moderna vaccine will meet the needs of those caregivers interested in receiving the injection.

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Still, as York Hospital battles its own COVID-19 outbreak, which had affected 45 staff members and 13 patients as of Wednesday, it was also announced Tuesday that patients are not yet being vaccinated.

The hospital said adults 65 years or older and high-risk individuals could be eligible for the vaccine in the coming months, and a second phase of distribution for all other patients could begin in the spring.

Vaccinations being administered to staff members are being staggered to avoid any chance that entire workgroups would develop side effects that could impact staffing, the release said. York Hospital cited data that claimed the Moderna vaccine was nearly 95% effective, safe, and did not result in any serious side effects during clinical trials.

“It is not often that one gets to be a part of history, which is what we are doing here today," Charity Neal, Nursing Director of Emergency and Surgical Services at York Hospital, said in the release. "I’m very happy to see so many of our employees getting frontline vaccinations, which is going to help us care for our community in the best possible way.”

Dr. Evangeline Thibodeau, Infectious Disease specialist at York Hospital, said the staff at the hospital has "been working tirelessly for the past nine to ten months fighting this pandemic, and now the end is in sight.”

York Hospital added that its full range of services remain available to the public while employees are vaccinated.

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