CarolinaEast receives COVID-19 vaccines, takes final steps to administer them


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Employees at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern are gearing up to vaccinate hundreds of frontline healthcare workers after receiving its first batch of the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday morning.

Leaders at CarolinaEast say it’s an enormous win in the fight against COVID-19. The hospital now has 975 doses of the vaccine, a lifeline for people working as COVID cases in Craven County continue to rise.

A UPS truck pulled p to the hospital around 10:30 this morning with a very special package of vaccines. The box was sealed and contained the ultra-chilled doses of the vaccine. The box was immediately moved to a special freezr at the hospital to keep the vaccine at a bone-chilling -70 degrees.

Unloading the vaccine shipment (CarolinaEast Health System video)

Health executives at the hospital say the team had just three minutes to inspect the vaccines to be sure they weren’t damaged before getting them into the deep freeze. Leaders pray this delivery is a positive tipping point in the fight against the virus.

Inspecting the vaccine shipment (CarolinaEast Health System video)

“Clearly we’re happy, pleased and proud to be one of the 11 hospitals in North Carolina to receive the vaccine, but I would also tell you real quickly we’re ready for everybody to get it, we want it all across the state and all across the country,” sai Ray Leggett, CEO of CarolinaEast Health System.

Storing the vaccine (CarolinaEast Health System video)

Leggett also said his team planned for weeks leading up to the delivery, figuring out the logistics of vaccinating workers. The vaccine requires two rounds of shots. This just covers the first. Officials expect the next round of doses for this group in the coming weeks.

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