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LANCASTER, OHIO (Dec. 23, 2020) – Fairfield Medical Center received an early Christmas present Wednesday with the arrival of the highly-anticipated Moderna COVID-19 vaccination, which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last week. Within hours of its arrival, the vaccines were already being administered to members of FMC’s team, with those who are involved in direct patient care among the first to receive it. Once the vaccine has been offered to the more than 2,000 staff members and providers at FMC, it will be prioritized for patients with critical and underlying health conditions before it is made available to anyone who wishes to receive it.

The first staff member to receive the vaccination at FMC on Wednesday was Arriana Rifenburg, RN, who works in the Observation Unit. “I think this vaccine is a ray of hope in this pandemic,” she said. “I got it to protect my family and to keep me safe while
caring for patients.”

Moderna is one of several manufacturers that have worked to develop safe and effective coronavirus vaccines. Before receiving FDA approval or emergency use authorization, each vaccine must undergo a standardized review process, as well as rigorous and detailed studies, to evaluate its safety, effectiveness and quality. In order for the vaccine to offer the most protection, it needs to be administered in two doses. The second dose
should be given 3-4 weeks after the first and both doses of the vaccine must be made by the same manufacturer.

“Vaccinations are going to allow us to get back to a more normal life sometime in 2021,” said Andrew Dagg-Murry, MD, FMC’s infectious disease provider. “The immunizations for COVID-19 will also stop the high mortality associated with this infection. The vaccines are based on good science, are well studied for benefit and have no major side effects.”

While the vaccine is not required for FMC’s healthcare workers, Chief Medical Officer Renee Wagner, MD, said it is her responsibility to set the expectation for the providers. “This vaccine is critical for our fight against the spread COVID-19,” she said. “Individuals that qualify to receive the vaccine should do so to protect their loved ones, our community, and help us return to our normal lives.”

Currently, the vaccine is available in limited supply for critical populations and FMC is only vaccinating healthcare providers at this time. As supply increases in Ohio, please click here to learn more about receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.