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  • Pam King Sams

Penn Medicine Begins Administering First COVID-19 Vaccines.

Penn Medicine’s first COVID-19 vaccinations began Wednesday at Pennsylvania Hospital, marking a historic milestone for the nation’s first hospital that puts an end of the pandemic within sight.


Emergency department nurse Eric Young, RN, BSN, who had just ended his night shift at the hospital, was the first health system staff member to receive the vaccine. Joanne Ruggiero, MSN, MA, his former study partner while the two were nursing school classmates at LaSalle University, who is now clinical director for Women’s Health and Behavioral Health, administered his shot.


Vaccinations are now beginning elsewhere across the health system.

The first round of doses will be offered to staff in emergency departments, trauma, labor and delivery, at COVID-19 testing sites, and in specialty groups such as our lung rescue team and transplant donor retrieval teams.


Florencia Greer Polite, MD, chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology and head of the Helen O. Dickens Center for Women’s Health, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she is focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy and serving as a role model, especially among the Black community, and that she is reaching out to her own family, letting them know she is getting vaccinated and trusts the science behind the vaccine: “We have to be aggressive, assertive, and quite frankly, get ahead of this.”


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