Vaccine distribution represents unique partnership with state and local officials.
Lawrence General Hospital is providing COVID-19 vaccines to first responders from the City of Lawrence and other first responders in Essex County who need them beginning January 11, 2021. The vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month for Emergency Use Authorization and is currently being distributed in phases determined by states nationwide. Massachusetts Phase One vaccination distribution includes health care workers and first responders in Essex County.
Lawrence General Hospital vaccination efforts are a result of a unique collaboration with Massachusetts public health officials and an ongoing successful partnership with the City of Lawrence. Lawrence General Hospital opened an 8-lane drive through testing site and have tested an average of 1,000 people a day since it opened in May 2020 as a result of this unique collaborative partnership. Lawrence General Hospital has already conducted more than 150,000 COVID-19 tests.
Lawrence General Hospital is working closely with state public health officials on the implementation of Phase One COVID-19 vaccinations. Phase One includes prioritizing high-risk, patient facing, front line health care workers and first responders.
“Through Lawrence General Hospital’s expansive COVID-19 testing efforts, we know how critical it is for the hospital to establish, operationalize and expand local access to preventative care to safeguard people’s health. The Hospital team that has been collaborating with the city and state on this highly successful and popular testing capacity for the region is embarking on the next challenge - a successful vaccination campaign,” says Deborah J. Wilson, president and CEO of Lawrence General Hospital. “We look forward to once again establishing a model that safeguards our community’s health.”
In accordance with the three-phase COVID-19 vaccine prioritization guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Lawrence General Hospital began administering the vaccine last month to health care workers with the priority being frontline workers in patient facing areas of the hospital.
“Vaccination is a critical step in assuring that health care workers and first responders remain free of infection and able to care for our community, particularly during the surge that Massachusetts is currently experiencing,” says Eduardo Haddad, MD, Medical Staff president and chief of Medical Affairs at Lawrence General Hospital. “At the same time, we urge all community members to continue masking, social distancing, hand-washing and avoiding group gatherings until widespread vaccination occurs.”
For more information on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans and timetable, visit Mass.gov/COVIDvaccine or lawrencegeneral.org/COVIDvaccine.