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This Kidney Transplant Recipient Got Vaccinated in Orlando Yesterday in Push to Get Shots to Extremely Vulnerable Patients

Photo: Jessica Heter, AdventHealth
Photo: Jessica Heter, AdventHealth

AdventHealth in Central Florida vaccinated some 500 patients who are considered extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 against the virus yesterday.

The hospital had received a limited supply of doses from the state to vaccinate the patients, most of whom had just received organ transplants.

AdventHealth’s Chief Medical Officer of Acute Care Services Dr. Neil Finkler said the hospital used CDC and NHS criteria to decide which patients got the vaccines. 

Finkler says AdventHealth is still waiting on additional shots to vaccinate tens of thousands more extremely vulnerable patients throughout the system.

“There’s a whole other population that has other risk factors that are under 65 that we would love to vaccinate as well. We’ve estimated across our entire division that may be as high as 35 to 40,000 people.”

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Jessica Heter was one of the patients who got a shot on Tuesday. Heter recently received a kidney-pancreas transplant at AdventHealth’s Transplant Institute. 

She says the vaccine isn’t just protecting her, it’s giving her family back their lives. 

“This is going to allow my son to be able to go back to school. Because I couldn’t send him because of course my immunity. But now, at least I know that for next semester he’ll be able to go back to school. So the email was just it was a godsend."

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Right now, the system does not have any doses for the general public.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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