COVID-19 vaccinations begin in central and western Virginia

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 8:26 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Hospitals in central and western Virginia are now administering the COVID-19 vaccine to their frontline health care workers.

Carilion Clinic, LewisGale Regional Health System and Centra Health all have their initial supply of the Pfizer vaccine. All three began administering doses to health professionals Wednesday.

“I’m excited for it. I strongly support this. And I believe in it,” Mary Rogers told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Rogers is a registered nurse in one of the Intensive Care Units at Carilion Clinic devoted to COVID patients. She was one of the first health professionals to receive the vaccine at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

“I hope in the coming future to be able to return to some sense of normalcy,” she said. “And I think that is what I’m banking on.”

Within Carilion Clinic, vaccinations began at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, New River Valley Medical Center and Rockbridge Community Hospital. Vaccinations will continue in other Carilion hospitals Thursday and Friday.

“It’s gone very well,” said Dr. Paul Skolnik, Chair of Carilion’s Department of Medicine. “We’ve gotten information on short notice and we’ve responded very quickly, so that we could begin administering the vaccine today.

“Hopefully, we have the light at the end of a tunnel and finally a tool to brush back this pandemic,” said Chad Alvarez, Carilion’s Senior Director of Pharmacy.

Dr. Skolnik said he expects Carilion to receive the Moderna vaccine in a week or two, with a similar roll-out expected then.

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