Kaiser Permanente began its COVID-19 vaccinations in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 17, alongside DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, providing protection against the COVID-19 virus for frontline workers, including members of the DC Fire and EMS department coined by Mayor Bowser as the “First Five.”
The vaccination event opened with remarks from:
- Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president, Kaiser Permanente
- Mayor Bowser
- LaQuandra Nesbitt, DC Health Officer
- DC Fire Chief John Donnelly
- Richard McCarthy, medical director, Kaiser Permanente
“This is what we do, we take care of the community, and we are very pleased to do that,” said Williams-Brinkley. “This vaccine is critical to our work to fight the pandemic and it was done following science. Speed did not sacrifice science. We must help those who are unsure about this vaccine to recognize its safety and its importance in helping us end this pandemic, so that we can return to the things we all love to do.”
Among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine were Sally Sanu-Bing, RN, clinical operations manager for Advanced Urgent Care at Capitol Hill Medical Center, and Dr. Saima Siddiqui, chief for Urgent Care for DC and Southern Maryland. Kaiser Permanente also vaccinated several first responders:
- LaQuandra Nesbitt, MD, MPH, DC Health Officer
- John Donnelly, chief, DC Fire and EMS
- Robert Holman, MD, medical director, DC Fire and EMS
- Keishea Jackson, Lieutenant, DC Fire and EMS
- Joseph Papariello, Lieutenant, DC Fire and EMS
- John Torres, Firefighter, DC Fire and EMS
Kaiser Permanente is prepared to continue vaccinating those who meet the criteria in each phase of the prioritization process. State and local health officials have the ultimate authority to prioritize which populations receive the vaccine in their state. We will follow the vaccine distribution allocation procedures to ensure that our employees, doctors, members and the communities we serve receive the vaccine safely and effectively.
Because it will take some time before there is widespread vaccination, Kaiser Permanente and DC public health officials stressed that it will be important to get your flu shot and continue washing our hands, maintaining physical distancing and avoiding gathering or crowded spaces.
Check out the video of the event on Mayor Bowser’s YouTube page. The most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at kp.org/coronavirus.