Coronavirus vaccines reach more Miami Valley residents

Hospital, nursing home, health department get first shipments

Credit: Premier Health

Credit: Premier Health

A hospital in Troy, a nursing home in Centerville and the Greene County Public Health Department were among the Miami Valley institutions to receive their first shipments of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday.

This comes as the second week of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and the first week of delivering the shot made by Moderna began nationwide.

At least 6,733 Ohioans have received the first dose of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine regimen, according to data released Monday afternoon by the Ohio Department of Health. That’s about 0.06% of Ohio’s population and about 0.6% of the 1 million to 1.3 million people ODH estimates are in Phase 1A of distribution.

Ohio has so far announced plans to largely administer Moderna vaccines to frontline health care workers through hospitals and health departments and the Pfizer vaccines to staff and residents at long-term care facilities through retail pharmacy partners.

Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy received 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday, making it the first Premier Health location to receive a shipment.

Credit: Premier Health

Credit: Premier Health

Vince Yahl, the pharmacy site manager at Upper Valley, said this unexpectedly early shipment is an “early Christmas gift for all of us.”

Premier Health is anticipating it will receive 5,900 doses from Moderna this week at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood, Miami Valley Hospital South in Centerville and Atrium Medical Center in Middletown. The hospital system expected shipments to begin arriving Tuesday so Upper Valley vaccinated only 10 frontline healthcare workers on Monday.

Dr. Gabriel Hays, a critical care physician at Upper Valley who received the vaccine, said he has seen the devastating impact of COVID-19 but hopes this vaccine will bring an end to the pandemic someday soon.

“It’s a huge, momentous occasion to be able to receive this vaccine,” he said. “It’s a privilege.”

Melissa Beasley, a nurse at Upper Valley who received the shot, said she wants to educate people on the importance of getting the vaccine. The benefits outweigh the risks, she said.

“I couldn’t ask (patients) to do something that I wasn’t willing to do myself,” she said.

The vaccinations are voluntary, though Premier Health said it is encouraging employees and providers to receive them as a preventive measure.

A spokesman for Kettering Health Network said the hospital system plans to begin vaccinating employees this week but is still coordinating with ODH to determine the number of doses it will receive.

Vaccinations in Ohio’s long-term care facilities began on Friday.

During the governor’s press conference on Monday, a resident at a Centerville retirement and assisted living center received her shot. CVS began vaccinating residents and staff of Bethany Lutheran Village on Monday morning. The facility expects it will take several days to administer all the vaccines.

Jess Doll, a long-term care nurse manager and infection control nurse at the facility, expeditiously administered the shot to Karyl Junkala. Doll said she is excited and residents have been very receptive to getting the vaccine.

Junkala said she was ready and anxious to get the shot.

“I’m very pleased to be a part of it,” she said. “I hardly felt a thing.”

Area health departments will begin vaccinating emergency medical service personnel this week. Greene County Public Health received 300 doses on Monday. Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County is anticipating a delivery of 3,100 doses on Tuesday or Wednesday. Miami County Public Health expects to receive a few hundred doses Tuesday or later this week.