First front line workers at Bladen Hospital get COVID-19 vaccine

Healthcare workers receives first COVID-19 vaccines in Bladen County.
Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 9:17 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - President and Chief Financial Officer of Cape Fear/Bladen Healthcare Stephen Fife had no issue rolling up his sleeve to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

“I wouldn’t be concerned with the speed that it’s passed through the FDA,” said Fife. “It’s a brand-new technology; we’re not getting any dead virus exposed to it. I think it’s important to know the frontline workers are not being exposed to the virus itself. So, I think that’s really promising.”

Bladen County Hospital was selected as one of eleven facilities in North Carolina to receive early shipments of the vaccine.

“We participated in three of the clinical trials so with that and the purchasing of the ultra-low temperature freezers, that really prioritized us of getting the early shipments,” said Fife.

Dr. Vicki Lanier is the Medical Director/Bladen Hospital Emergency Services and received the vaccine on Wednesday. She said all of Bladen Hospital’s 975 doses will go to frontline workers.

“I think it’s very important for the healthcare workers to be...especially the ones on the front line, ICU, in-patient get the immunization,” said Dr. Lanier. “We are who is going to take care of people when they get sick. If we get sick first, it’s very difficult to do that.”

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is expected to get its vaccine shipment by the end of the week. The vaccine brings hope to Joe Conway who is the Director of Health Equity and Human Experience at New Hanover Regional.

“We see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Conway. “I think at the end of the day, Americans, people from Wilmington, and those of us that live in this area of the United States, we know it’s going to be a new normal. But we want to get back to normal.”

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