Jersey City Medical Center began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to its employees. In the coming weeks, the vaccine will be given to first responders and high-risk individuals before it is made available to the general public. We sat down with Dr. Michael Loftus, chief medical officer at the hospital, to ask him questions about the vaccine.
Q: Which COVID-19 vaccine are employees at Jersey City Medical Center receiving?
A: We have the specialized freezers that are required for storing the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine so we will start by distributing that vaccine.
Q: Why are health care workers getting the vaccine first?
A: The goal is to vaccinate some of the highest risk groups – those most likely to be exposed on a frequent basis. The thought is to vaccinate those who are exposed to COVID-19 frequently and as well as those who would negatively impact our ability to care for sick patients if they were to become ill themselves.
Q: Do you feel these vaccines are safe?
A: Absolutely. The safety data was gathered in a very rigorous way. These vaccines were run through the appropriate safety protocols and the early testing data has been excellent. It’s not just one manufacturer either. It is at least two, with very similar safety profiles. Everyone here at Jersey City Medical Center are very excited to be able to offer this as an important intervention in our fight against COVID-19. The vaccine is going to be the biggest game changer we’ve had so far to fight COVID-19.