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Northwest Florida Community Hospital administers COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 8:26 PM CST
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CHIPLEY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A long-awaited package was finally delivered Wednesday morning to Northwest Florida Community Hospital in Chipley.

“I almost look at it as a Christmas present for us to be able to give some protection to our staff,” said CEO of Northwest Florida Community Hospital Michael Kozar.

“We are very excited to get them. We have anxiously been waiting for their arrival every day,” said CNO of Northwest Florida Community Hospital Connie Swearingen.

Three-hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered to hospital employees and nursing home patients.

“I think what every hospital administrator or CEO worries about is your work force and those people we have that are taking care of those patients day in and day out,” said Kozar.

For these employees, they say it’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“This is not going to solve it, it’s not going to make it go away, but it’s just another tool to help us make progress in fighting this pandemic,” said Kozar.

NFCH officials say it’s so important for this rural hospital to receive the vaccine because of the community it serves.

“Our rural hospital, we also have a nursing home, our third floor is a nursing home with 34 residents,” said Swearingen. “It’s very important for us because our hospital is a nursing home and a rural critical access hospital.”

Hospital officials say, just because they are a rural facility, they shouldn’t be considered second class.

“Our staff deserve the same protections and the same equipment, and all the supplies other areas, more populated areas get,” said Kozar.

Northwest Florida Community Hospital officials say they look forward to providing the best care they can to the community and this is just another step.

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