Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) officials announced that the first doses of the newly approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Day Kimball Hospital today, December 22, and distribution of the vaccination to its healthcare workers is underway.
"This is a historic moment in changing the course of the coronavirus pandemic," said Kyle Kramer, chief executive officer, Day Kimball Healthcare. “Today, we have the honor of administering the first doses of the vaccine to our employees who have been working tirelessly for months in the fight against COVID-19. While this process will take time, we are excited to begin the first phase of a large-scale vaccination effort which brings us one step closer to the end of the pandemic.”
DKH’s vaccine distribution plan was developed in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). The plan includes a phased approach to vaccination, directing initial supplies to the most vulnerable populations.
The vaccine is administered in two shots, and the first doses of vaccinations will be prioritized for frontline workers who provide direct patient care. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be given 28 days from the first dose.
All DKH employees, including staff and physicians, and other healthcare providers in the region who indicated their intent to be vaccinated will be eligible to receive the first dose in this initial wave of vaccination recipients. Among the first group of employees to be vaccinated was Dr. John Graham, chief medical officer and vice president of quality and medical affairs.
“We are thrilled to see such a remarkable response of team members to receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Graham. “The COVID-19 vaccine represents a real hope for an end to this pandemic. We encourage everyone in our community to take the vaccine when given the opportunity and do their part to stop the spread of a disease that unfortunately has taken so many lives.”
DKH has been preparing for this historic moment for weeks. In a concerted effort, individuals across the health care system have worked long hours to plan for every detail from an equitable distribution strategy, to storage, planning, and vaccination education.
“The logistics involved in the vaccine distribution process cannot be understated,” said John O’Keefe, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services, Day Kimball Healthcare. “This effort involved collaboration of teams including pharmacy, medical staff, IT, human resources, facilities, support services, and many more. I am proud of the way everyone has come together to prepare to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to our healthcare workers.”
Vaccinations for the general public will be available at a future date which is determined by the CT DPH and Governor Lamont’s COVID-19 Advisory Group, and based on recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Day Kimball Healthcare looks forward to assisting the state of Connecticut with its distribution plan to the general public when those vaccines become available. Until a vaccine is available to everyone, it is important to continue masking, practice social distancing, and basic hand hygiene.
As a reminder, anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath) should stay home and contact their primary care provider before visiting any healthcare location.
For the latest information, refer to the CDC website, cdc.gov and the CT DPH website, ct.gov/coronavirus. Local measures to contain the spread of the virus are available at Day Kimball Healthcare at daykimball.org/coronavirus, or call 2-1-1, the CT State Hotline for information.
(l to r:) John Graham, MD, Chief Medical Officer and VP, Quality and Medical Affairs, Kyle Kramer, Chief Executive Officer, Day Kimball Healthcare, and John O’Keefe, Chief Nursing Officer and VP, Patient Services, were among the first group of healthcare workers to receive the Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Day Kimball Hospital on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.