AdventHealth Orlando workers begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots

Frontline workers to be first to get vaccine at hospital

AdventHealth Orlando receiving shipments of Pfizer's vaccine

ORLANDO, Fla. – As boxes of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at AdventHealth Orlando via FedEx, AdventHealth said they have thousands of employees that have signed up to receive the vaccine Wednesday morning.

But which frontline workers will be the first to get the vaccine?

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“Our first group will be folks that work in an ICU, the COVID ICU, the COVID units, our emergency departments, people that do procedures,” Dr. Neil Finkler, the Chief Medical Officer for AdventHealth Central Florida Division said.

Dr. Finkler said he expects this shipment of the vaccine to last them through next Tuesday.

“We received about 20,000 doses of vaccine, based on our conversations with AHCA and the state surgeon general, we are going to share these vaccines with our neighbors within our tri-county; so our other health systems, Nemours, as well as Orlando Health and HCA,” Dr. Finkler said.

Dr. Finkler said he has personally reviewed the vaccine data and said he plans to get it.

The vaccine is under emergency use authorization, employees will not be required to get the vaccine.

However, the doctor added that could change.

“Once this moves to an FDA approved vaccine, which we anticipate sometime in 2021, then we will require this, very similar to what we do with our flu vaccine policy,” Dr. Finkler said.

He also said that the older population tends to have fewer side effects from the vaccine than the younger population, but said many of the symptoms only last 24 to 36 hours.

The question was asked after a person is vaccinated, how long after receiving it can they be considered to have effective immunity?

To which Dr. Finkler said, “the best answer is, we don’t know exactly that answer, but it appears to be somewhere between two to six weeks after vaccination.”

Dr. Finkler also said they don’t know if a vaccinated person can spread the virus, and added for that reason, they are advising people to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.