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Atlantic Health System Begins Distributing COVID-19 Vaccine

December 16, 2020

Atlantic Health team members and physicians first to get doses at Morristown Medical Center

MORRISTOWN, NJ – December 15, 2020 – Today Atlantic Health System distributed its first shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to eligible team members and physicians, taking a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19. The shots were delivered at Morristown Medical Center and were given to 12 front-line health care workers.

“Today represents a powerful moment of hope and optimism in the fight against COVID-19,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Health System. “We can now begin taking the fight straight to this virus with a safe, highly effective vaccine that reflects groundbreaking scientific achievement. We look forward to delivering this new protection to our team as we remain ready to care for every patient who needs us.”

Atlantic Health System team members inoculated today included physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, paramedics and environmental services supervisors.

“This is a momentous occasion and I’m very happy to be a part of the team at Atlantic Health System leading the way in distributing this vaccine,” said Jeffrey Tanis, RN, Morristown Medical Center. “Together we are showing the community that this a safe and painless way to protect ourselves against the COVID-19 virus.”

Delivering the first vaccine at Atlantic Health System was Valerie Bolcar, RN.

Morristown Medical Center joined five other acute care hospitals across the state in receiving doses this week of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Requiring ultra-cold storage in excess of -70 degrees centigrade, the vaccine utilizes an mRNA platform that has undergone rigorous scientific review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

In accordance with guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Health, the vaccine will be distributed initially to all adults who live, work, or are being educated in the state. Phasing will ensure that limited vaccines are distributed in a fair and equitable manner. Phase 1A of the plan, which captures approximately 650,000 people, includes healthcare workers who are paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Acute care hospital workers at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be the first to receive the vaccine.

Additional distribution at all Atlantic Health System medical centers will begin as soon as they receive vaccine supply.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of almost 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system offers more than 400 sites of care, including seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, and Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ.

Atlantic Medical Group, comprised of 1,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, represents one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey and joins Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners as part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.

Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 16 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of seven regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across seven health systems in New Jersey.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.