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Citrus Memorial Hospital gets shipment of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine will initially be given to hospital staff based on a tiering structure of COVID-19 exposure risk and is optional for all.

INVERNESS, Fla. — Citrus Memorial Hospital caregivers who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 have started to get vaccinated.

The hospital said on Thursday it got its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will initially be given to hospital staff based on a tiering structure of COVID-19 exposure risk and is optional for all.

More workers who want the vaccine will be able to get it when there are more doses available.  

“The ability to provide our caregivers who are at the highest risk the protection this COVID-19 vaccine provides is such a gift this holiday season,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Raylene Platel. “Of course, we must all still remain vigilant about masking, social distancing and hand-washing.”

Florida reached a grim milestone to start December, becoming the third state in the United States to reach more than 1 million reported cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The Sunshine State has seen recent spikes in new cases. In fact, 200,753 of the state's positive tests were reported in November -- at the time making up nearly 20 percent of all cases statewide.

“We are excited to be able to provide this vaccine now as positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the community,” said CEO Ginger Carroll. “The safety of our caregivers has remained first and foremost throughout the pandemic and I am truly thankful for their dedication to compassionate care throughout this challenging year.”  

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