• 50°

COVID vaccine arrives locally, but don’t let your guard down

AHOSKIE – Since March, we have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven to be unprecedented and has required significant changes in our daily lives. Sacrifices have caused significant burden on life, socialization, travel and finance, to name a few. Too many of our patients, friends, and family have lost their lives.

Dr. Madhu Parmar, OB/GYN (left; top photo), and Dr. David M. Lingle, Chief of Staff at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital (right; bottom photo) received an injection of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 18 at the Ahoskie-based hospital from Lorrie Henry, RN, Occupational Health Nurse. Contributed Photos

As we enter into the holiday season, many months into the pandemic, COVID-19 infections continue to rise. We received some hope last week as the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. Still, in the midst of the holiday season and beyond, we must remain committed to the safety habits that have gotten us this far: wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding gatherings.

The Pfizer vaccine was sent to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan on Friday, Dec. 18 where we began administering it to our frontline team members, as outlined by state and federal officials. Dr. Madhu Parmar, OB/GYN and Chair of OB/Pediatrics department at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan, was the first physician at our hospital to receive the vaccine. Thereafter, other team members and I received it as well and more will be vaccinated in the days to come.

I applaud the efforts my fellow providers and team members have put forward to care for the sick during this time but we continue to need the community’s support. This vaccine offers hope, but we are still many months away from it being available to the general public. I would urge all community members to continue to do their part and follow necessary guidelines. We, as healthcare workers, remain committed in our efforts of caring for everyone in need.

As more vaccines become available in the coming weeks and months, I urge you to trust in the science, which has brought us such lifesaving medicine, and not let your guard down. I look forward to returning to the sunny life we had at the beginning of this long, stormy year and remain optimistic that it will be soon.

Best Regards,

David M. Lingle, MD

Chief of Staff, Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital

Vidant General Surgery-Ahoskie