Bayhealth Medical Director of Emergency Services Kelly Abbrescia, DO receives COVID-19 vaccine

Bayhealth Gives First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | COVID-19

Among our nation’s first healthcare leaders to receive the much anticipated COVID-19 vaccine, Bayhealth administered the first doses today, Tuesday, Dec. 15, to frontline team members who have risked their own personal health and safety by treating patients throughout the pandemic. Doses of the vaccine were received on Monday, Dec. 14. The speed by which Bayhealth is distributing the vaccine is a testament to Bayhealth’s commitment to ensuring its facilities are always safe, always open and always ready.

Vaccines are being stored in specially designed freezers at Bayhealth Kent Campus with vaccines expected at Bayhealth Sussex Campus soon. Vaccine distribution at Bayhealth is prioritized first to individuals who are at greatest risk. While the vaccine is not mandatory at Bayhealth, it is highly encouraged.

“Our team members have been working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to treat our community throughout this pandemic and equally as important to ensure we are ready to distribute the vaccine as rapidly and responsibly as possible,” said Bayhealth President and CEO Terry M. Murphy, FACHE. “Because of the expert preparation by our teams, we were able to swiftly receive and distribute the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for their fortitude and continued dedication to our community and to their profession.”

Over the coming days and weeks, Bayhealth will continue to receive doses of the vaccine to administer to team members. Nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and environmental services team members are among the first to receive the vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is a testament to the science and technology we have available today,” said Bayhealth Medical Director of Emergency Services Kelly Abbrescia, DO. “The speed with which the vaccine was created, manufactured, tested and met rigorous government requirements before it could be administered, is an impressive feat. Giving the vaccine to frontline staff ensures that we will have dedicated medical experts ready and available to care for our community as the pandemic continues.”

Bayhealth leaders have been working in collaboration with healthcare and state partners for several months to determine a thoughtful and thorough vaccine distribution plan.

“This has been a truly collaborative process between hospitals, healthcare providers, and state leaders to ensure we had a safe, effective plan in place to begin giving the COVID-19 vaccine to our frontline staff,” said Bayhealth Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Gary Siegelman, MD, MSc. “It’s important for our entire community to understand this vaccine has met rigorous testing requirements by the FDA and represents one of the strongest lines of defense our nation has in defeating this deadly illness. The vaccine is another tool to ensure we are ready to provide safe patient care to our community members whose health needs are even greater during this pandemic.”