BROWNS MILLS – The Deborah Heart and Lung Center announced that they have administered the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to its staff members, who previously received the first 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.”
The NJ State Department of Health had chosen Deborah to obtain the Pfizer vaccine since the Center has ultra-cold freezer storage. This allowed Deborah to be the first hospital in Burlington County to offer the vaccine.
“We had a bit of a learning curve working with this new vaccine and its different storage and use requirements,” said Deb Sadowski, RPh, Deborah’s Director of Pharmacy Services. “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.”
“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,” Sadowski added. “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,” Chirichella said. “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.”