Two Elmhurst Hospital health workers receive the historic first COVID-19 vaccine


William Kelly (L) and Veronica Delgado (R) await Mayor Bill de Blasio to arrive | Photo NYC Health + Hospitals

NEW YORK – Veronica Delgado, Emergency Department (ED) Lead Physician Assistant, and William Kelly, a Service Aid in the Environmental Services Department (ESD) both at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, were among the first hospital workers that receive the COVID-19 vaccine on December 16.

As part of the City’s public health system, the NYC Health + Hospitals, following guidelines, begins to offer the vaccine to frontline health care workers in each of its 11 hospitals assigned to the Emergency Departments or Intensive Care Units (ICUs) who are over the age of 60. They have the highest risk of exposure to the virus. The public health system will expand vaccination to other employees and, eventually, patients in the next week and months to come.

“Just months ago, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst was the epicenter of the crisis,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, with the arrival of the vaccine, hope is on the horizon at Elmhurst and hospitals across our city.”

“Today, NYC Health + Hospitals is reaching an exciting and important milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak – being able to begin offering a COVID-19 vaccine to our brave healthcare workers,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “In line with the mission of NYC Health + Hospitals, we are committed to ensuring there is fair and equitable access to the vaccine and will prioritize New York City’s most vulnerable and most at-risk for contracting the virus when we can begin wide scale roll-out later next year.”

Next week, NYC Health + Hospitals will begin to vaccinate another critical group of health care professionals in its system – the staff in its five long-term care facilities that provide care to some of the most vulnerable populations. The public hospital system will also begin to vaccinate all the residents in those nursing facilities, working with a trusted pharmacy partner under a Federal program to ensure that every employee and nursing home resident who wants the vaccine can get it.

The public can watch the historic event for NYC Health + Hospitals here.

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