Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | El Paso Herald Post
The familiar boxy brown UPS truck made a very special delivery Tuesday morning, as officials with UMC welcomed the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to the hard-hit region; bringing nurses, physicians and many others who are exposed daily to COVID-19 long-sought protection to continue caring for El Paso.
Only hours after the arrival of the package, the first staff members received the much-anticipated vaccination. Hospital officials said Crystal Molina, was the very first El Pasoan to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Of the more than 2,900 doses, UMC has asked its partners at El Paso Children’s Hospital, Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, the Medical Examiner’s Office, affiliated community physicians, and emergency medical technicians, to provide names of frontline healthcare staff to be vaccinated at UMC. These healthcare workers will be vaccinated throughout the next week at UMC.
“The arrival of these vaccines brings light at the end of a very long tunnel for all of us,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO. “All of our Associates and partner healthcare teams treating COVID-19 patients at UMC will have confidence that coming to work will no longer put their health in jeopardy. Their families, their patients and our community can soon rest easier.”
Officials added that it is extremely important to emphasize that vaccinations for the general public are not available, at this time but are expected to begin in the first months of 2021.
Many of the teams at El Paso Children’s Hospital and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso will also be lining up shoulder to shoulder to be vaccinated, beginning Wednesday.
“2020 has been a year that has been unlike anything we have ever seen in our lifetime. Through this all, the HEART values that are part of the culture of El Paso Children’s Hospital has stayed strong in all of our employees. This vaccine continues to give us hope for 2021. We are blessed to be part of the El Paso County Hospital District and will continue to provide safe quality care for the pediatric population of our region,” said CEO Cindy Stout.
“Both Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso are ready to work with our hospital partners to bring brighter days to the Borderland community,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of TTUHSC El Paso. “We’re incredibly proud of our nursing students, who have eagerly volunteered to be part of this historic moment knowing the profound impact it will have on front-line health care professionals.”
During the vaccination process, Associates from UMC, nursing students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Hunt School of Nursing, nurses from El Paso Children’s Hospital, and volunteer EMTs will administer the vaccinations.
Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez was there to catch this historic event, and we bring you his view via this gallery.