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GBMC HealthCare front-line team members receive first round of COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. William Zirkin, an Emergency Department physician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center HealthCare in Towson, is the facility's first recipient of the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. About 200 frontline staff members received the vaccine on Dec. 28.
Dr. William Zirkin, an Emergency Department physician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center HealthCare in Towson, is the facility's first recipient of the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. About 200 frontline staff members received the vaccine on Dec. 28. (GBMC)

In a long-anticipated event, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center HealthCare in Towson began administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccines to its front-line team members on Monday.

The first injections of the Moderna vaccine were administered to approximately 200 staff members, while approximately 1,200 staffers signed up to receive it during the first week of distribution.

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“[Monday], by administering the first round of vaccines to our team members, we start with new efforts to fight COVID-19, and we are very excited,” said John B. Chessare, president and CEO of the GBMC HealthCare system in a news release.

Front-line members of the emergency department and the intensive care unit, which have been involved in the care of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, as well as operating room staff and providers and staff from the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center and the Ear, Nose and Throat department were among the first to be vaccinated.

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The first recipient of the vaccine was Dr. William Zirkin, a GBMC ED physician.

“It is a huge relief [to get the vaccine] and I am excited. It has been a long road and it feels like this is a light at the end of the tunnel for sure,” said Zirkin in the news release. “I can’t imagine why anybody would not want to get vaccinated. I lined up to be first [yesterday] morning, that’s how excited I [was].”

Although a vaccine is available, Chessare encouraged members to remain vigilant.

“Even after receiving the vaccine, we all must continue to wear masks, social distance and practice hand hygiene — everything we all have been doing since the start of the pandemic. If we continue to keep our guard up, we’ll be that much closer to coming out the other side of this unprecedented series of events,” he said.

GBMC HealthCare expects to offer the vaccine to patients and the general public in 2021.

Further information will be posted on the GBMC website and social media channels as it becomes available.

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