Today, on December 17th, the first round of Covid vaccines were administered to front line workers at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen. HudPost was on scene at the request of Hackensack Meridian to witness history.
Health care workers were the first to receive the vaccine.
"The process was amazing, and the cooperation of our entire team here at the hospital has been amazing," says Dr. Aaron Stein, the Chief Medical Officer at Palisades Medical Center. "Our Chief Operating Officer, Patricia Carroll, has spent endless hours getting every detail down so that when the vaccine arrived, we would be ready to vaccinate as many people as we could - as safety as possible."
Dr. Aaron Stein, a 36 year practicing Cardiologist, was the first to receive the vaccination in the hospital.
"When I went into the room, I was told I would be the first person vaccinated," says Dr. Stein. "There was great optimism in the room...I did not feel any fear or see any fear in the room...I don't think I even felt the injection."
Although the vaccine is said to be 95% effective, Dr. Stein says the vaccine is not an "absolute cure".
"We've become much better at treating the disease but there is not real, absolute cure. The best thing we can do, as in many things in medicine is to prevent the disease, is to wear a mask, and social distance," explains Dr. Stein. "Now we have something else as a preventative, a very strong preventative...If you want your lives to return to some form of normalcy, if you want your health and the economy to rebound and return to where it should be in the next few months - we need to get as many people as we can vaccinated."