BAY SHORE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The third effective vaccine in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) arrived at several Northwell Health hospitals today, enabling New York State’s largest health system to begin vaccinating hospitalized patients. The first use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine took place at South Shore University Hospital (SSUH), where a Long Island woman volunteered to receive the one-shot inoculation after recovering from hip replacement surgery.
Susan Maxwell-Trumble, 67, of Babylon, said she was excited to finally get the vaccine as she readied for discharge after her March 1 surgery. “I have a few preexisting conditions and this vaccine will allow me some more freedom in my life,” said Ms. Maxwell-Trumble, who worked in the music industry with such hard rock acts as Ozzy Osbourne. “I want to thank Northwell Health for the vaccine.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine on February 27. The J&J vaccine is 86 percent effective against the most severe form of COVID-19 and no patients who received the vaccine in their trials died or required hospitalization. It joins the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines in use throughout the U.S.
First doses arrived today at hospitals in the region and the New York State Department of Health authorized its use for discharge patients over the age of 65 followed by those under 65 with comorbidities.
“The addition of a third vaccine adds another weapon to the arsenal in fighting COVID-19,” said Stephen Bello, PA, regional executive director of Northwell’s Eastern Region. “In preparation for this over the last 48 hours, we’ve been thinking about the last year in which we’ve battled COVID-19 every day. When this started there was really only one weapon to fight this virus: the hard work, knowledge and dedication of the health care community.”
Since Northwell’s first inoculation on December 14th – when Northwell vaccinated the first person in the nation under FDA approval – the health care system has vaccinated more than 100,000 people, including 52,000 team members.
The beginning of March marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in New York State. Since then, more than 514,000 people across the nation – nearly 48,000 of them New Yorkers – have died from the virus. This third FDA-approved vaccine adds additional hope to our long fight against this devastating disease.
“It’s a really exciting day. A year ago, we were at 120 percent capacity at South Shore University Hospital,” said Donna Moravick, NP, executive director at SSUH. “That’s 327 COVID patients on April 17. We were the epicenter in Suffolk County. I’ve been in health care for over 40 years as a nurse and nurse practitioner. What I’ve seen here over the last year I’ve never witnessed before. The most difficult thing was when you went home and you couldn’t tell your family what your day was like. To be the first hospital in the area to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a really big deal.”
As a one-dose inoculation that can be stored at regular refrigerated temperatures and can stay viable for up to three months, the J&J vaccine is easy to transport, store and distribute. It will boost the capacity to vaccinate twice the number of people over the same period of time.
“This represents a pivot point for our patients,” said Jay Enden, MD, medical director at SSUH. “Before today, eligible non-vaccinated non-COVID patients who were discharged must recover at home and then begin the arduous process of trying to find a place to get a vaccine, try to get an appointment, wait for the appointment and then begin the three-to-four-week period where they need sequential vaccines. Starting today, we can discharge these patients to their period of recovery and at the same time as they recover, they can acquire immunity and protection.”
Download video and photo assets from the press conference here:
Full press conference:
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 75,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.