As the camera shutters clicked and the world watched, Joe Biden, as president-elect, received both of his COVID-19 vaccinations at ChristianaCare.
ChristianaCare has earned national recognition for quality care, dedication to the community and initiatives to make health care more accessible and affordable.
“We owe you big — the whole staff,” Biden said when he received his first dose on December 21. “You’ve been incredible.”
Director of Employee Health Tabe Mase, MSN, MJ, FNP-C, CHC, COHN-S, administered the initial Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to Biden, a long-time Delawarean.
Needle poised against Biden’s upper arm muscle, Mase gently asked if he wanted to count to three. “You just go ahead — anytime you’re ready,” he told her, pulling up the left sleeve of his turtleneck shirt.
Hundreds of media outlets, including international press, covered the two vaccinations, which Biden made public to show how safe and easy it is to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine,” he said upon receiving his first dose.
Mase’s purple-gloved hands were steady. Afterward, she and Biden shared a fist bump.
“It certainly would have been a handshake if it was 2019,” Mase said. “But we’re in the middle of a pandemic. That fist bump was, ‘I see you, I hear you, I’m connecting with you, but I’m keeping you safe.’”
The vaccine is safe, said Ric Cuming, Ed.D., MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, who administered Biden’s second dose on January 11. “We encourage everyone to get vaccinated at their first opportunity, to protect themselves from COVID-19 and reduce the spread of this virus. With each person vaccinated, we take another step toward ending this pandemic.”
Cuming is ChristianaCare’s chief nurse executive and president of ChristianaCare HomeHealth. He and Mase have administered the vaccine – and they’ve also received it.
After his second dose, Biden chatted with Cuming about home health care, which he agreed will continue to be an essential avenue of care for the future.
“I found him to be so authentic,” Cuming said. “He thanked me for being there and administering his vaccine, and after he answered questions from the press, he asked me how we were doing at ChristianaCare. He wanted me to thank all the nursing staff and caregivers.”
During the pandemic Biden has personally thanked ChristianaCare caregivers on intensive care units through online calls for being health care heroes.
After receiving the vaccination, Biden continues to wear a mask to protect others against COVID-19. It takes time for the body to build immunity and it’s not yet known if the vaccination can prevent someone from transmitting the disease. On his inauguration day on January 20, Biden asked Americans to “mask up” for 100 days to help stop the spread of the virus.
As the animated Mase has put it: “In 2021, we’re going to beat COVID. We’re going to wash up, we’re going to mask up, we’re going to separate [6 feet], and we’re going to vaccinate. Let’s do it!”
For information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit christianacare.org/coronavirus-vaccine.