ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A group of Beaumont Health Care Heroes received the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday afternoon.
All health care workers who received the vaccine are in the 1A high priority group, meaning they have direct or indirect exposure to patients with COVID-19 or infectious materials.
”We are proud to finally be able to offer a vaccine to our teams. This virus has claimed too many lives and put incredible strains on health care workers and our health care systems around the world. We will do everything we can to encourage our staff to get vaccinated and help bring an end to this pandemic. We’re also working on plans to help the community get the vaccine as soon as enough is available,” Beaumont Health Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson, RN, said.
Beaumont Health Director of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention Dr. Nick Gilpin was the first person to receive the vaccine at Beaumont Health.
”We have been waiting for the arrival of a vaccine since the pandemic began. I’m confident this vaccine, and the others in development, will stop the spread of the virus and save lives. Yet, I also know it’s going to take some time for the majority of the population to get vaccinated. In the meantime, it’s critically important we all keep wearing masks and practicing social distancing,” Dr. Gilpin said.
Beaumont Health leaders recommended Dr. Gilpin and approximately 15 other health care workers in the 1A high priority group to receive the vaccine first. On Tuesday, Beaumont also launched a robust clinic to provide the vaccine to staff.
The health system received a total of 975 initial doses. All other Beaumont health care workers who met the 1A high priority criteria were randomly selected to receive an invitation to get the vaccine. At this time, Beaumont is not mandating the vaccine, so health care workers have the option to decline it.
All members of the first small group of Beaumont Health Care Heroes vaccinated will be invited to receive their second dose together at another event to be announced in a few weeks.
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 442,715 as of Tuesday, including 10,935 deaths, state officials report.
Tuesday’s update includes 4,730 new cases and 183 additional deaths, including 71 from a Vital Records review.
Frontline workers at Michigan Medicine also received the COVID-19 vaccine and shared their experiences.