Dec 14, 2020

HHS Press Conference Transcript COVID-19 Vaccine Kickoff December 14

HHS Press Conference Transcript COVID-19 Vaccine Kickoff December 14
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsHHS Press Conference Transcript COVID-19 Vaccine Kickoff December 14

HHS officials held a kickoff event for the COVID-19 vaccine on December 14. Read the transcript of the press conference briefing here.

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Kimberly Russo: (01:23)
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining us. My name is Kimberly Russo and I am the Chief Executive Officer of the George Washington University Hospital. On behalf of the entire care team at GW Hospital, we are so honored to host the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Surgeon General for today’s historic event.

Kimberly Russo: (01:44)
As you know, hospital caregivers across our nation have been on the front lines of battling COVID-19. I have been truly proud and humbled by the ongoing commitment, dedication and teamwork of our care team. Unwaveringly, they continue to come together to be here to serve our community in these difficult times. As they have been committed to our patients throughout this time, we have been committed on caring for our team. Their safety has remained our number one priority, and we are thrilled to begin the next phase in helping to protect them as they continue to care for all of us.

Kimberly Russo: (02:23)
Today, we will take a momentous step in beginning to provide our caregivers with this vaccine. We look forward to making this available to everyone who is interested in receiving it. And we are also thankful for our caregivers, now, have that option of this added protection.

Kimberly Russo: (02:42)
I would like to thank all of our healthcare and government partners, including the US Department of Health and Human Services, the district government, Mayor Bowser, and DC Health. Your partnership has been vital and so appreciated. I also want to, once again, thank everyone who is joining us here today. And of course I want to thank the staff of GW hospital and all of the frontline workers across our country and the world who have been so pivotal in helping us get through this.

Kimberly Russo: (03:13)
I, like all of you, look forward to overcoming COVID-19 and look forward to a very bright and healthy future. I would now like to turn it over to Dean of the GW School of Medicine Health Sciences, and CEO of the GW Medical Faculty Associates, Dr. Barbara Bass.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (03:36)
Thank you, Kim. Great to be here. And again, welcome and thank you Secretary Azar and Surgeon General Adams for your commitment in service to the health and wellness of our nation. It is a great honor for the George Washington University to have you here today to recognize this national moment as we begin the process of vaccinating the people of our nation, starting this very day with our frontline healthcare workers.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (04:02)
Today’s frozen vaccine delivery, that dear little box filled with effective, safe vaccines to protect individuals and our communities that arrived just a few hours ago, is our hope for a healthier future. This vaccine and the others soon to come are our tools to lead us down the pathway to a post-COVID America.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (04:26)
We know this pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives for everyone and the human toll in all forms has been and continues to be staggering. We have also seen this pandemic has highlighted deep health inequities in our communities of color in our nation. Let’s use this moment as a vital first step to break that pattern of inequity and focus on this incredible moment that we have available to us today, this remarkable new vaccine to interrupt this dread disease for all.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (05:02)
We must gain the trust of all our citizens to join us in this vaccination crusade in our nation. Here at GW, echoing CEO Russo’s comments, we are especially proud of all the contributions and sacrifices from our faculty, nurses, doctors, trainee staff, students have made to in service to our patients and our community over these last only 10 months. They’ve been brave, relentless and honorable. Members of the massive healthcare enterprise of the United States that has made all the difference this year in saving so many lives.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (05:40)
We are grateful to the academic biomedical research centers throughout our nation and the global biotech industry that has delivered this success in record, beyond our wildest dreams, with speed and efficacy. Here at GW, we are proud that we served as a trial site for another soon to be released COVID vaccine. And so grateful to those individuals who participated as volunteers to get us to the other side of this pandemic.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (06:09)
Here at GW, we will launch another trial in January. For, our work against this disease is not yet done and we still need individuals to participate in those upcoming clinical trials to ensure we have vaccination pathways for everyone.

Dr. Barbara Bass: (06:26)
But today, here at GW, as around the nation, we are part of history. And as we each receive our vaccinations, each in our turn in the months ahead, we are all part of the solution to end this pandemic. Let’s celebrate this moment and then persevere in our essential work and patient care, public health and research to move us to those bright days we know are ahead. It is now my honor to introduce, to welcome, our Surgeon General Admiral Adams to the podium. Thank you.

Jerome M. Adams: (07:11)
Well, thank you so much for that kind introduction and for the work that you’re doing here at GW to keep our nation’s capital, and my own family who live and work in this region safe. Today is truly an historic day. Vaccinations have been a tried and true public health measure for hundreds of years. But the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is nothing short of revolutionary. And I hope everyone appreciates the importance, the significance, the history of this moment.

Jerome M. Adams: (07:44)
We have our research community across the country and the globe to thank for their Herculean efforts to bring us to where the light of the end of this long and dark tunnel. And it’s worth adding that we have people of color represented among the researchers who developed the vaccine, the scientist and doctors who reviewed it, and the tens of thousands of study participants who bravely volunteered so they could prove this vaccine safety and efficacy. So thank you to all of you. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Jerome M. Adams: (08:20)
But, and this is an important but, having a vaccine is only the first step. We must now move from vaccines to vaccinations. And it would be a great tragedy if disparities actually worsened because the people who could most benefit from this vaccine won’t take it. I’ve often said vaccines are one of our greatest social injustices in this country. So ensuring that all Americans have an equitable opportunity to receive the vaccine, and promoting vaccine confidence and equitable uptake, will be critical if we want to save lives, ensure the protection of all Americans against COVID-19 and end this pandemic.

Jerome M. Adams: (09:03)
We know that lack of trust is a major cause for reluctance, especially in communities of color. And that lack of trust is not without good reason as the Tuskegee studies occurred within many of our own lifetimes. To truly combat vaccine hesitancy and encourage diverse enrollment in clinical trials, we must first acknowledge this real history of mistreatment and exploitation of minorities by the medical community and the government. Then we need to explain and demonstrate all that has been done to address these wrongs, the protections and safeguards in place like the HHS, Office of Human Research Protections, and independent institutional review boards and data and safety monitoring boards to make sure tragedies like the Tuskegee Syphilis Study or The exploitation of Henrietta Lacks never happen again.

Jerome M. Adams: (09:54)
And finally, we have to work hard to engage trusted voices. Medical serving organizations like the National Medical Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association, the National Black Nurses Association, faith leaders, and community gatekeepers in minority communities to help build trust in the safety and the efficacy of the clinical study and vaccination process.

Jerome M. Adams: (10:17)
I’ve worked with vaccine companies since August to ensure that we have diverse representation in the trials. And I’ve been working with historically Black college and university presidents, including DC’s own Howard University, athletes and influencers, pastors, rabbis, and Emoms, and more, to educate our most vulnerable about the safety and the efficacy of these vaccines. And HHS under the direction of Secretary Azar has a vaccine consultation panel that give us feedback and serves as connection points, educators, and megaphones to communities of color.

Jerome M. Adams: (10:53)
But, while we begin today administering the first doses of this remarkable vaccine to the people in places where it will be most immediately impactful, we must keep-

Jerome M. Adams: (11:03)
This is where it will be most immediately impactful. We must keep following the three Ws until we achieve widespread distribution and uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations. Remember to wash your hands. I’m going to demonstrate it right here for you. Remember to watch your distances, and remember to continue wearing your masks. Be concerned about rising cases and deaths, and therefore, cautious in your day-to-day actions, but also, be confident. The finish line to this marathon is insight, and remember that we can’t finish the race without each and every one of you. Help reduce the burden on folks like the clinicians here with us today getting their vaccinations, and by following the three Ws, and getting your flu shot now, and by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you’re able.

Jerome M. Adams: (11:54)
I just want to finish by thanking you, Secretary Azar, for your incredible leadership throughout the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, and for always pushing HHS to address disparities and diversity as we tackle this pandemic. As you’ve often said, we should be proud on this day, but we should also be doggedly persistent in pursuit of equity, and an end to this pandemic, and with that, I’d like to turn the podium over to you, Secretary Azar, for your remarks.

Secretary Azar: (12:33)
Well, thank you Admiral Adams for being here today, and thank you for your constant leadership, and promoting the value of vaccination at this time, and over the last several years. I want to thank the team here at GW for welcoming us here today, and to Mayor Bowser for joining us, and for her partnership throughout this crisis. We’re here today because of the extraordinary medical achievement that our country has delivered this week. Through President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, substantial quantities of a safe and effective vaccine within a year after the virus was first known to the world.

Secretary Azar: (13:10)
Today, healthcare providers across America are going to work to administer vaccines to the most vulnerable, and to fellow healthcare workers. Here at GW, we are marking a ceremonial kickoff to this national vaccination program. What we’ll see here today is representative of what’s happening across America right now. What you see here today is also a reminder that as exceptional as Operation Warp Speed is, administering vaccines is something our healthcare system knows how to do very well indeed. Our hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare delivery sites administer more than 100 million flu vaccines every year.

Secretary Azar: (13:50)
Here at GW, the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered to employees, essentially, just like the flu vaccine is. I also want to praise the thoughtful work that GW has done to determine how to allocate early shipments of vaccines among its team, analyzing data about which healthcare workers are at greatest risk for contracting the virus, and which are at highest risk for serious outcomes from the disease. States and communities across the country like D.C. can use data like this to make the right decisions for how to allocate vaccines, using the recommendations of experts, their own best judgment and their views on their own local situation. We’re also here, and I’ll be at many vaccination sites in the coming weeks to underscore that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as exciting as it is, is just like getting any other safe and effective vaccine that Americans receive to protect us from illness. I was pleased to see a new ABC poll released this morning, finding that more than eight in 10 Americans say they plan to get the vaccine, but we still have more work to do in educating Americans about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines.

Secretary Azar: (15:02)
This FDA authorized vaccine, and each COVID-19 vaccine that FDA potentially authorizes will have been through the typical numerous stages of safety review, and more. This vaccine has gone through clinical trials, much larger than many vaccine trials. It’s gone through the drug companies checks, it’s gone through an independent data and safety monitoring board, it’s gone through the FDA’s independent advisory committee. It has been subjected to FDA guidelines publicly published, stating what FDA would require for approval, and finally, it has been authorized by FDA’s career scientific experts, as I promised.

Secretary Azar: (15:45)
At 95% efficacy, this vaccine is extraordinarily effective at protecting you from the virus. Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and your country healthy and safe, so with that, I will hand things over to Dr. Petinaux, so he can explain more about how the administration process is working here at GW. Thank you very much.

Dr. Petinaux: (16:22)
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you very much Secretary Azar, and Sergeant General Adams. It is an honor to be part of today’s event. My name is Dr. Bruno Petinaux, and I’m the chief medical officer here at the George Washington University Hospital. I’m thrilled to be here today on such a historic moment in public health. As our head off emergency management, and an emergency medicine physician myself, I’ve seen firsthand the negative effects and life-threatening effects of COVID-19. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has put a strain on all of us, especially, those honorable individuals battling on the front lines.

Dr. Petinaux: (17:03)
It is remarkable that only nine months ago into this pandemic, we have a vaccine that has been shown to both be effective and safe. I wanted to thank Operation Warp Speed, and I’m extremely pleased to be able to begin offering the vaccine to our essential caregivers. Also, I want to thank our partners of the school of medicine here with the George Washington University, and the GW medical faculty associates, and also, especially Dr. William Borden, our partner, who has been working so diligently with us on the algorithm, and so many components of the vaccine administration.

Dr. Petinaux: (17:39)
I look forward to also taking this vaccine when my turn comes, and I highly encourage everyone to seriously consider being vaccinated when the opportunity arises. This vaccine is just one more way that we can help beat COVID-19 along with ongoing masking, and PPE use, hand hygiene, and social distancing. I look forward for caring for our caregivers as they continue to care for our patients. Here at the George Washington University Hospital, we’re committed to providing this vaccine in a fair, equitable, and transparent manner to our teams. We have worked diligently to create an algorithm that allocates the vaccine in alignment with guidance from both the federal government and DC health.

Dr. Petinaux: (18:28)
Along these guidelines, we have identified the first priority as individuals for caring for patients at first point of contact before we know their COVID-19 status. These individuals, I know emergency department, and labor, and delivery as well. Within those groups, we will be prioritizing individuals over the age of 65, as well as those with comorbidities for severe COVID-19 disease. Following that group, we will be prioritizing individuals caring for COVID-19 positive patients, and we will continue to follow this algorithm with regard to age and comorbidities.

Dr. Petinaux: (19:08)
All of this being said, we look forward to making this vaccine available to all of our essential caregivers that are interested in receiving the vaccine in the coming months. Once again, I want to pause and reflect on how much this is truly a historical event and moment in our nation. Thank you to everyone who worked so tirelessly to make this vaccine possible, and to all of the healthcare workers here at GW hospital, and across the world who are getting us through this unparalleled time, and helping us save lives.

Dr. Petinaux: (19:45)
We could not do this without you, and we look forward to overcoming this together. Now, I’m pleased to welcome Lillian, from our employee health, who will be providing the vaccines. I’m also pleased to welcome our first vaccine recipient. Barbara Nicewonder is a nursing supervisor in the emergency department. Barbara has been a longstanding ed nurse at GW Hospital. Her vast experience of emergency medical, and emergency department nursing has allowed Barbara to educate complice of nurses in emergency medicine. Please go ahead, Barbara.

Secretary Azar: (20:30)
Hello Barbara.

Barbara: (20:31)
Hey, thank you.

Secretary Azar: (20:32)
Nice to meet you.

Barbara: (20:33)
Nice to meet you.

Lilian: (20:34)
Hi Barbara.

Barbara: (20:34)

Lilian: (20:34)
Welcome. All right. Can I just see your folder? Can you please confirm with me that this is your name, and birthday.

Barbara: (20:43)
It is.

Lilian: (20:43)
And, that we have pre-consented you before we give the vaccine process.

Barbara: (20:47)
You have.

Lilian: (20:48)
And, we have given you education about the EUA of the Pfizer vaccine you have.

Barbara: (20:53)
You have.

Lilian: (20:54)
Okay. Do you have any questions or concerns for me?

Barbara: (20:56)
None whatsoever.

Lilian: (20:57)
Okay. All right, and which arm are we be doing today for your vaccine? Great, I’ll ask that you take off your jacket. I have to dry it.

Secretary Azar: (21:12)
You had a shift today, Barbara?

Barbara: (21:25)
I did. I’m working now.

Secretary Azar: (21:26)
Oh, well, thank you. Thank you for all you’re doing to keep us safe.

Lilian: (21:30)
Sorry, gloves [inaudible 00:21:36]. Okay. All right. I’m just going to wipe the site. Pull your sleeve up a little bit, and this is a vaccine of 0.3 MLS.

Barbara: (21:58)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1: (22:18)
Okay, I’ll ask for you just to hold that up. Thank you. All right, Barbara. Nice deep breath. One, two, three, little poke. And all done.

Dr. Petinaux: (23:10)
Did it hurt, Barbara?

Barbara: (23:11)
Not at all.

Dr. Petinaux: (23:11)
All right. That’s what I like to hear. First one.

Speaker 1: (23:12)
All right. There you go. Congratulations.

Barbara: (23:12)
Thank you, very much.

Dr. Petinaux: (23:22)
Congratulations, Barbara, on being the first part in this historic moment and being vaccinated. All right. Very well. I’m now thrilled to welcome our second recipient. Our second recipient is Dr. Raymond Pla an anesthesiologist. Dr. Pla’s work as an anesthesiologist brings him in close contact with COVID-19 patients in the emergency department as well as on labor and delivery. He helps to manage the airway of COVID patients, which represents the highest risk to health care providers. Dr. Pla.

Speaker 2: (24:01)
Now, doctor, you know I’m an anesthesiologist too, right?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:04)
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I do.

Speaker 2: (24:05)
All right. Certainly appreciate what you’re doing well.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:08)
Well, thank you.

Speaker 1: (24:11)

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:12)
Hey there.

Speaker 1: (24:15)
Oh, can I actually just have your folder?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:18)

Speaker 1: (24:18)
I want to confirm your name and birthday.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:21)
Just to make sure.

Speaker 1: (24:24)
Okay. And this is your name and birthday?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:26)
That is correct.

Speaker 1: (24:27)
And we provided you with the EUA of the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:30)

Speaker 1: (24:31)
Do you have any questions or concerns?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:37)
I do not.

Speaker 1: (24:37)
I’ll be doing your left arm today.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (24:43)

Speaker 2: (24:44)
Can that sleeve come up [inaudible 00:24:46]? Got the guns out. Maybe it’ll bring the sun out.

Speaker 3: (24:54)
How long ago did you extract the syringes? Did you do the syringes to extract out of the vial?

Speaker 1: (25:00)
That was done in pharmacy and I pick them up at 2:15.

Speaker 3: (25:03)

Speaker 1: (25:15)
Okay. All right. Nice deep breath.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (25:29)
Rock ‘n’ roll.

Speaker 1: (25:30)
Okay. Little poke, one, two, three.

Speaker 3: (25:37)
How’d it feel?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (25:39)
Okay. Fine.

Speaker 3: (25:40)
No problem?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (25:41)

Speaker 2: (25:41)
And as she puts your Band-aid on, why is it important to you as an African-American man to be among the first to get vaccinated?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (25:49)
I know that there were a couple of factors at work, and I think now this virus, this pandemic, has shown a bright light on the healthcare disparities and the extraordinary burden of death that has occurred in Black and Brown communities, in large measure because of the comorbid conditions. And then there’s another layer there, and that is a certain amount of deep mistrust that has its roots in historical wrongs. But I think that the ongoing disparities that exist and latent bias and sometimes conscious bias fuels and furthers that mistrust of vaccines and of the medical community more broadly. And so I think it’s important for Black and Brown communities and members of set communities to see someone who looks and walks and understands the stories and understands what’s going on. And that this person looks like me and understands me and feel safe and trusts the vaccine and feels comfortable getting it. And perhaps I need to rethink this.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:09)
And at the very least ask my doctor, do you really believe? And take that step forward, take that leap, because this is not just the best way forward, this is the best only way forward. This is the only way forward.

Speaker 2: (27:23)
And I think that’s a key, ask your doctor if you have questions. Don’t let misinformation be the reason you aren’t getting everything that you deserve to be your healthiest self. And I want to be clear, because a lot of people don’t know an anesthesiologist is a doctor. You went through four years of medical school.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:40)
Yes, I did.

Speaker 2: (27:40)
You did four years of residency. You are a licensed physician, correct?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:43)
Yes, sir.

Speaker 2: (27:44)
And you felt this vaccine was safe, correct?

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:47)

Speaker 2: (27:48)
All right.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:48)

Speaker 2: (27:49)
Well, thank you so much, sir, we appreciate it.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:54)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (27:55)
Thank you.

Speaker 2: (27:55)
Thank you very much.

Speaker 1: (27:55)
There you go.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (27:57)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (27:57)
Thank you.

Speaker 3: (27:57)
Doctor. [inaudible 00:27:59] vaccination.

Dr. Raymond Pla: (28:02)
Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: (28:04)
Thanks for doing this.

Dr. Petinaux: (28:04)
Thank you. I’m now pleased to welcome our third vaccine recipient, Dr. Sheetal Sheth. Dr. Sheth is an obstetrician working on labor and delivery. She works in close contact with women who are known or could be positive for COVID 19. She works very hard to ensure a safe and healthy delivery process for both mother and infant. Dr. Sheth.

Speaker 1: (28:27)

Speaker 2: (28:37)
And doctor, as she preps, Secretary Azar instructed us just two weeks ago to put out an action plan highlighting that 700 women die during the time of childbirth each and every year from pregnancy related complications. And we unfortunately heard that one in four women has said that they have skipped or not been able to go in for their prenatal care appointment because of the pandemic. What are your thoughts on the significance of this vaccine for pregnant women?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (29:05)
We are really lucky here at GW to have the vaccine available and we’re so grateful to the administration for pushing the vaccine through. I think this will re-welcome our patients back. It’s going to be protecting our health care workers as well. We’ve been utilizing an app to help patients remotely contact their physicians, but there’s nothing that’s greater than the actual in-person visit to really connect with your healthcare providers and create that trust that is vital for expecting parents.

Speaker 2: (29:45)
And to be clear, what do you say to your pregnant women about when they can get a vaccine?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (29:49)
So currently, the American College of OBGYN and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine has put out a statement that despite there not being data yet available that lactating women, people who are expecting, and people who want to get pregnant, that the vaccine should not be withheld from them. And just like any of the decisions that we make on labor and delivery, we do it with our patients. So it’ll be opening up a conversation to let patients know that the vaccine is available and if they’re candidates for it and they are willing to take the vaccine that we will encourage them to do that as well.

Speaker 2: (30:28)
Thank you. And one of the safest things we can do for our pregnant patients is to make sure their providers are protected.

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (30:33)

Speaker 2: (30:33)
So thank you for being here today.

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (30:36)
Thank you, sir.

Speaker 1: (30:38)
All right. Can you just confirm that this is your name and birthday on the consent form?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (30:42)
That’s okay.

Speaker 1: (30:42)
And that we have consent from you prior to vaccination and that we have provided you with the education emergency EUA of Pfizer biotech vaccine?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (30:52)

Speaker 1: (30:53)
Okay. Do you have any questions, concerns, before I proceed?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (30:55)

Speaker 1: (30:56)
Okay. And which arm will we be doing today?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (31:02)
The right.

Speaker 3: (31:03)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (31:04)
The right.

Speaker 1: (31:05)

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (31:05)
Well, hm. Let’s just do the left. That’s fine.

Speaker 1: (31:08)
Are you sure?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (31:09)
I’m fine, yes.

Speaker 2: (31:11)
Which ones your delivering arm?

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (31:13)
It’s good to be ambidextrous.

Speaker 2: (31:14)

Speaker 1: (31:17)
All right. And I’m going to ask you to just hold your scrub top up. Just going to wipe here. A little cold. All right. Nice deep breath. In through your nose, out through your mouth. A little poke, one, two, three. All right. All done.

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (32:00)
You are an excellent inoculator.

Speaker 1: (32:01)
Thank you.

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (32:01)
You know you’re going to get that. All right, thank you.

Speaker 1: (32:01)
All right. There you go.

Speaker 2: (32:01)
Congratulations. Thank you for taking care of our moms.

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (32:01)
Of course.

Speaker 3: (32:01)

Dr. Sheetal Sheth: (32:02)
Thank you.

Dr. Petinaux: (32:18)
Congratulations. And thank you, Dr. Steth. I’m pleased now to welcome our fourth recipient, [Sharlie Stewart 00:00:32:23]. Sharlie’s a nurse on labor and delivery, and that’s a nurse at the bedside of a laboring mother. Sharlie’s a wonderful advocate for her patients, ensuring that the delivery process is always patient-centric. Ms. Sharlie.

Speaker 1: (32:38)

Sharlie Stewart: (32:38)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (32:40)
I just want to confirm that this is your name and birthday.

Sharlie Stewart: (32:42)

Speaker 1: (32:42)
And that we have provided you with an accurate consent and information about the COVID vaccine.

Sharlie Stewart: (32:49)

Speaker 1: (32:49)
Okay. Do you have any questions or concerns for me prior to proceeding?

Sharlie Stewart: (32:52)
No. Thank you.

Speaker 1: (32:53)
Okay. Which arm will we be doing today?

Sharlie Stewart: (32:55)
My right.

Speaker 1: (32:56)
You’re right. Okay.

Speaker 3: (32:58)
You can just trade places.

Speaker 1: (32:59)
Let’s switch sides.

Sharlie Stewart: (33:00)
Okay, perfect.

Speaker 1: (33:01)
Sure. No problem.

Speaker 1: (33:02)

Chyleen: (33:02)
Sure. No problem.

Speaker 4: (33:08)
Pleasure to be joined by Mayor Bowser.

Speaker 1: (33:44)
All right. It’s going to feel a little wet. Nice big wipe. All right. Nice deep breath, in through your nose, out through your mouth. A little poke one, two, three. All done. Great.

Speaker 4: (34:30)
How does it feel compared to a flu shot experience?

Chyleen: (34:30)
Yeah, very much so.

Speaker 4: (34:31)

Speaker 1: (34:31)

Chyleen: (34:32)
Not bad at all.

Speaker 4: (34:32)

Speaker 1: (34:33)
All right. Let me just complete your paperwork.

Speaker 4: (34:39)
Thank you.

Chyleen: (35:03)
Thank you.

Speaker 1: (35:03)
Here you go. Congratulations.

Chyleen: (35:04)
Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (35:04)
Of course.

Speaker 4: (35:05)
Thank you, [Chyleen 00:35:05].

Chyleen: (35:06)
Thank you.

Speaker 4: (35:11)
All right. Thank you so much. And I’m now pleased to welcome our fifth recipient, Dr. Sean Chester, a physician in emergency medicine. Dr. Chester cares for all patients who present to our emergency department. Dr. Chester is often the first physician to diagnose a patient with COVID-19, and is responsible for safely discharging a patient either to home or admitting them to the hospital, sometimes even to our critical care unit. Welcome Dr. Chester.

Speaker 1: (35:38)
Hello, welcome.

Sean Chester: (35:39)

Speaker 1: (35:40)
Hi. Can I just please confirm that this is your name and birthday in the folder?

Sean Chester: (35:44)
Yes, that is correct.

Speaker 1: (35:45)
Okay, great. And we have previously consented you and provided you with education regarding the EUA, and the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19?

Sean Chester: (35:54)
Yes, that is correct.

Speaker 1: (35:55)
Do you have any questions or concerns for me?

Sean Chester: (35:56)
I do not.

Speaker 1: (35:57)
Okay, great. Okay, just lift your shirt up. If you could just hold the sleave, that would be great. Okay. Nice big wipe. Nice and cold. All right, little squeeze. Nice deep breath in through your nose, out through your mouth. Little poke, one, two, three. And done. Okay.

Sean Chester: (37:23)
Awesome. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (37:47)
Congratulations. You’re welcome.

Sean Chester: (37:47)
Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (37:48)
Congratulations. You’re very welcome.

Sean Chester: (37:48)
Thank you. Thank you.

Speaker 4: (37:48)
Thank you so much.

Secretary Azar: (37:48)
Don’t forget your token for today.

Sean Chester: (37:48)
Oh, thank you so much.

Secretary Azar: (37:48)

Speaker 4: (37:53)
All right. It is my honor to celebrate the first five vaccinated individuals at George Washington University Hospital. And we look forward to vaccinating many more. Thank you all for being here today as we begin our exciting new vaccination process. And I’m now pleased to welcome the Mayor of The District of Columbia, Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Muriel Bowser: (38:11)
Thank you, Doctor.

Speaker 4: (38:12)
Thank you, Ma’am.

Muriel Bowser: (38:16)
Thank you. Well, good afternoon, everyone. I am delighted to be here. I want to thank you, Secretary Azar, Surgeon General, thank you for your leadership. And to all the wonderful doctors, and nurses, and healthcare professionals here at Washington DC’s George Washington University, please give them all a hand.

Muriel Bowser: (38:38)
We are very happy today. I gave my briefing about COVID, and certainly we all can recall how difficult the last nine months has been in fighting this global pandemic. We’re very grateful to the people of Washington DC, the business owners of Washington DC, who have heated our advice and helped us best contain this virus as much as possible to get us to this day. The day when this vaccine starts going out, people start getting this vaccine, get all of their questions answered, so they can inoculate themselves and their families from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Muriel Bowser: (39:23)
Today, I was with one of our first responders, actually several, members of DC Fire and EMS. And they will be among the first DC government workers who are part of the medical community, who will be inoculated starting this Thursday. And so the stories that we heard from them, are that they’re doing it for their city, so that they can go out and do their job safely. They’re doing it for their own families. So when they go out to work each day, exposing themselves, they know that they aren’t exposing their families. And they’re doing it so that we can get back to normal just as soon as possible. So I am grateful for what I know has been a Herculean scientific effort, logistics effort, and now it’s on all of us to make sure that we’re communicating to our neighbors, our family and friends, and especially right now they’re healthcare workers in our lives, that we have a safe and effective vaccine, and we need to get to using it.

Muriel Bowser: (40:29)
So thank you very much GW for hosting us today. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for all the work that I know thousands of people have been engaged in to get us here to this day. And I would be remissed if I didn’t remind everybody, let’s have a safe holiday. And the best way to have the safe holiday is to wear your mask and a stay at home. Thank you everybody.

Speaker 4: (40:56)
Thank you. Next, we will have Secretary Azar providing some closing remarks, please. Thank you.

Secretary Azar: (41:04)
Well, Mayor, thank you for being here. We’re so delighted to be with you today. Thanks to President Trump’s sponsorship and support of Operation Warp Speed, hope and help are on the way. The vaccines that you just saw distributed are going to really be the light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m so delighted to be here at GW to get to see our heroic healthcare workers getting vaccinated and getting protection.

Secretary Azar: (41:32)
It’s so vital, as the child of two healthcare providers, to be able to see, not just our doctors and nurses being able to get protected, but our janitors, our orderlies, our receptionists that are in harm’s way, who enable great institutions like GW Hospital to function and care for patients. And that’s what these vaccines do.

Secretary Azar: (41:52)
We literally have millions of doses right now getting out there to the American people. And by next week, we believe we could be having a second vaccine. And by Christmas, 20 million Americans… By the end of this year, 20 million Americans could be vaccinated. By the end of January, 50 million Americans could have had a first vaccination. By the end of February, what you saw today could be replicated a hundred million times. A hundred million shots in arms between the first and booster vaccine.

Secretary Azar: (42:24)
But all of that hope doesn’t matter if we don’t bridge to that point, which means we need every one of you to practice the responsible behaviors of washing your hands, watching your distance, wearing your face covering when you can’t watch your distance, and especially, be very careful and mindful to avoid settings where you’re not going to do those things like indoor gatherings, overcrowded indoor restaurants and bars, and household gatherings that have individuals from other households, people from around the neighborhood, especially at this holiday season. We need you to be vigilant.

Secretary Azar: (42:57)
Why do we need that? We need you to do that, because we want everybody that’s here now to be here for next year’s holiday season. And thanks to the vaccine, that actually is possible. So now is not the time to let our guard down. This is not the end of our battle against COVID, but today marks a critical milestone towards the ultimate defeat of COVID-19. Thank you all very much. And thank you to GW for hosting us today.

Speaker 4: (43:30)
Thank you.

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