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Hope delivered – COVID-19 vaccine arrives at hospitals, VA in Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 18:44:58-05

CLEVELAND — The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Northeast Ohio on Tuesday; so far, Aultman Hospital and the Cleveland VA Medical Center have posted videos and photos showing what is perhaps the most anticipated delivery this holiday season.

The first round of 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine was delivered to Aultman Hospital in Canton just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“We'll keep you updated as we take our next steps toward administering our first doses to Aultman's frontline workers across the health system,” the hospital stated on its Facebook page.

Cleveland Clinic also received just under 1,000 Pfizer vaccine doses Tuesday, representatives stated. They plan to start vaccination of caregivers on Wednesday.

975 COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive at Cleveland Clinic

"It is an ultra-cold vaccine, so it does come on dry ice," said Cleveland Clinic's Chief Pharmacy Officer Sam Calabrese. "And we have three minutes from when we open that container to get it into the -80 [degree] freezers."

Also today, the Cleveland VA Medical Center received 2,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine under a separate distribution program that selected 37 VA sites across the country. The medical center said it will begin vaccinating healthcare personnel and veterans in the VA’s long-term health care facilities on Wednesday.

2,900 COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive at Cleveland VA Medical Center

Once larger supplies of the vaccine become available, the Cleveland VA will make it available to any veteran and VA employee who wants one, representatives stated.

“We are very excited to provide a vaccine that has the potential to help get COVID-19 under control when used alongside public health measures such as masking, physical distancing and frequent handwashing,” said VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System CEO Jill K. Dietrich.

The VA posted to its Facebook page a series of images showing every step of the vaccine’s delivery, from arriving at the center to storage in an ultra-cold freezer.

More than 2,900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine arrived at the Cleveland VA Medical Center December 15.
CEO Jill K. Dietrich, JD, MBA, FACHE signs for the vaccine delivery.
Daniel R. Mullaly, Materials Handler, escorts the shipment of vaccines to Pharmacy for unpacking and storage.
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Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for Investigational Drugs David Panning accepts the package from Logistics Service.
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist David Panning reviews the unpacking instructions for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist David Panning prepares the ultra-cold freezer to store the COVID-19 Vaccine.
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Clinical Pharmacy Specialist David Panning places the first tray of vaccines in the ultra-cold freezer at the Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Other locations in Ohio set to receive shipments of the vaccine this week include:

  • St. Vincent Medical Center - Mercy Health, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • MetroHealth Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center, Clark County
  • OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Franklin County
  • OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital, Athens County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

Each medical center will receive 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine through a distribution program organized by the Ohio state government and the White House.

See more details on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio in the related story below:

RELATED: 'This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic,' Gov. DeWine says as first COVID vaccines arrive in Ohio