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Deborah Heart and Lung Center Administers Second Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Was the First Burlington County Hospital to Vaccinate Staff 21 Days Ago

Deborah Heart and Lung Center today administered the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to its staff members who had received an initial dose 21 days ago.

“This is an exciting milestone,” said Joseph Chirichella, Deborah President and CEO. “Knowing we have staff that are fully vaccinated will bring peace of mind to patients, those employees and their families, and offers hope to all of us that we are on the path to eradicate the virus.”

Team vaccine pic
Left to right: Deborah Heart and Lung Center environmental services employees Keesha Wilburn, Jerome Downing and far right Yvonne Coates with Deborah President and CEO Joseph Chirichella showing their vaccination cards after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination.

Deborah was selected by the NJ State Department of Health to receive the Pfizer vaccine because of its ultra-cold freezer storage capability, making Deborah the first Burlington County hospital to offer the vaccine.

Deb Sadowski, RPh, Deborah’s Director of Pharmacy Services said that the vaccine roll-out was running smoothly.

“We had a bit of a learning curve working with this new vaccine and its different storage and use requirements,” she said “but we now have a good system in place for vaccine administration, including staggering doses to build in a cushion if there are side effects. With over 600 employees vaccinated, there have been no significant side effects, primarily only soreness at the injection site. Our vaccine clinics have been running quickly and efficiently. “

She added: “Like other institutions throughout the country who are administering the vaccine, we also have to do a fair amount of education to overcome fears about getting the shot. I am proud of my team who are doing a great job of quelling vaccine hesitancy among our staff. This is the same messaging that we will be bringing to the community as New Jersey expands availability to the next tier of recipients.”

“I am very impressed with the staff at the Center managing through the pandemic,” said Chirichella “They consistently use their training and experience to find the resources and ingenuity to solve every new challenge we are presented. Their rapid deployment of the vaccine will hopefully help to get us to a COVID-free state as a reward for their commitments.”



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