LEWES (Dec. 16, 2020) – The first person in Sussex County received the COVID-19 vaccine today at Beebe Healthcare. Sintia Rodriguez, RN, who works in Beebe’s Emergency Department and behavioral health unit, received the vaccination from Dr. Bill Chasanov, at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus.
Beebe received its shipment from the Delaware Division of Public Health just hours before Rodriquez received the first dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. A total of five front-line team members received the vaccine today, including Amy Williams, RN, a charge nurse caring for COVID-19 patients, George Parker, Manager of Environmental Services, Dr. Ercilia Arias, a pulmonologist in Beebe’s ICU, and Dawn Adili-Khams, RRT, a respiratory care practitioner.
“This historic moment exceeded all expectations,” said David A. Tam, MD, MBA, FACHE, President & CEO, Beebe Healthcare. “We have planned and prepared for this, but to witness Beebe’s front-line healthcare workers receive an extra layer of defense against this deadly virus that we all have been battling since March, was truly something special. We know this vaccine is a valuable tool in returning to our pre-pandemic normal. In the coming weeks as more vaccine supplies arrive, Beebe will continue to care for the community. Beebe remains open and safe for all who are in need of care.”
Beebe has developed a tiered approach to provide the vaccine to team members based on federal recommendations, which focuses on high-risk groups who come into direct contact with patients. This tiered system was created under the guidance of COVID-19 vaccine playbooks created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Delaware. As COVID-19 vaccines becomes more widely available for the public, Beebe is finalizing operational plans to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the community.
“I didn’t know I would be the first person in Sussex County, so I am very grateful,” Rodriguez said. “I have worked in the emergency department throughout the pandemic, and I’ve really seen people become very sick. I’m glad that this vaccine can be a tool to end this pandemic.”
While this vaccine is a boost to the fight against the pandemic, Dr. Chasanov says it is still critical that we all follow the golden rule of the 3Ws this winter and spring until herd immunity can be achieved via the vaccine.
“It will be critical for us all to continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, and watch our distance with those outside of our household,” Dr. Chasanov said. “This vaccine shows promising signs of efficacy and limited and minor side effects, but there is still much to learn about whether the virus can be spread from a vaccinated individual. Still – today was a great day for Beebe, Sussex County, and the state of Delaware.”
Learn more about how the vaccination will be rolled out in Delaware: de.gov/coronavirus.
Learn how Beebe is taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community: www.beebehealthcare.org/covid-19-resource-center.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people who live in, work in, and visit the communities we serve. Beebe Healthcare has three campuses: the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus, which houses the medical center; the Rehoboth Health Campus; and the South Coastal Health Campus. Beebe Healthcare offers primary care as well as specialized services in the areas of cardiovascular, oncology, orthopaedics, general surgery, robotic surgery and women’s health. Beebe also offers walk-in care, lab, imaging and physical rehabilitation services at several locations throughout Sussex County, in addition to a home health program and a comprehensive community health program.
For more information about Beebe Healthcare, visit beebehealthcare.org.