First COVID Vaccines Administered In County

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Hope filled the air in the auditorium at HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield as the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Montgomery County on Wednesday, Dec. 23. Cheers and claps erupted when the first shot was given.

“And it didn’t even hurt,” said Leanne Anderson,” a critical care unit nurse at the hospital, who became one of the first to be vaccinated. 

Ten vaccines were administered on Dec. 23, with clinics for fellow colleagues scheduled Dec. 28-30. Following Anderson in line to be vaccinated were Anna Adkins from the respiratory therapy unit and Rachel Hammon, an emergency room nurse. COVID-19 vaccines were also administered on Wednesday at Hillsboro Area Hospital.

“I am so grateful that our caregivers who have been serving on the front line of this pandemic are receiving the first vaccines here at St. Francis,” said HSHS St. Francis Hospital President and CEO Jim Timpe. “I am so thankful for everything our colleagues have done this year and the vaccine’s arrival represents hope at our hospital and for our community.”

All of the vaccines were administered smoothly and safely.

The doses, which arrived Wednesday morning, were administered to colleagues providing patient care, all of whom voluntarily consented to receive the vaccine. At this time, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is not requiring its colleagues to receive the vaccination, although they are recommending colleagues receive the vaccine when it is available to them.

HSHS St. Francis Hospital will be following the CDC guidelines to determine during which phases their colleagues will receive the vaccine. Locally, they will work closely with the Montgomery County Health Department as they continue to receive additional doses. 

“This is an exciting step to be able to provide an additional level of protection for our colleagues who continue to provide exceptional and compassionate patient care in the midst of this pandemic,” said Timpe.

Local hospitals still encourage people to do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in the area by being diligent with proper hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks and staying home when we are ill.

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