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Organ Recipients Vaccinated In Orlando In Push To Get Shots To Extremely Vulnerable

Photo: Jessica Heter, AdventHealth
AdventHealth
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Jessica Heter was one of the patients who got a shot on Tuesday. Heter recently received a kidney-pancreas transplant at AdventHealth’s Transplant Institute. 

AdventHealth is still waiting on additional doses to vaccinate tens of thousands more vulnerable patients throughout its system.

AdventHealth in Central Florida on Tuesday provided the coronavirus vaccine to about 500 patients who are considered extremely vulnerable against the virus .

The hospital had received a limited supply of doses from the state to vaccinate the patients, most of whom had just received organ transplants.

AdventHealth’s Chief Medical Officer of Acute Care Services, Dr. Neil Finkler, said the hospital used criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to decide who got the vaccine. 

Finkler says AdventHealth is still waiting on additional doses to vaccinate tens of thousands more extremely vulnerable patients throughout its system.

“There’s a whole other population that has other risk factors that are under 65 that we would love to vaccinate as well. We’ve estimated across our entire division that may be as high as 35 to 40,000 people,” Finkler says.

Jessica Heter was one of the patients who got a shot on Tuesday. Heter recently received a kidney-pancreas transplant at AdventHealth’s Transplant Institute. 

She says the vaccine isn’t just protecting her, it’s giving her family back their lives. 

“This is going to allow my son to be able to go back to school. Because I couldn’t send him because, of course, my immunity. But now, at least I know that for next semester he’ll be able to go back to school. So the email was, just it was a godsend,” she says.

Right now, the system does not have any doses for the general public.

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.