HPAE Statements on UH nurse receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

HPAE Statements on UH nurse receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine

The following statement can be attributed to HPAE President Debbie White, RN:

“Healthcare workers have faced greater risks and rates of exposure throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful that an HPAE nurse, working in the Emergency Room at University Hospital, was the first to be vaccinated in New Jersey. Healthcare workers across the state are the most exposed and at risk of contracting the virus. Vaccinations are essential in helping to flatten the curve. HPAE applauds Governor Murphy and regulators for recognizing that healthcare workers should be first in line to be vaccinated. Protecting our frontline health care workers is our best defense in fighting COVID. Yet vaccination alone is not the solution. We must include routine testing, contact tracing, and effective protective equipment for healthcare workers on the job. Additionally, we urge lawmakers and Governor Murphy to collect and report healthcare worker data to ensure we are better prepared in the future to protect our healthcare workforce.”

The following statement can be attributed to HPAE Local 5089 President Cynthia McDougall, RN:

“The arrival of vaccines is a step towards putting this viral pandemic behind us, while we continue to provide care inside University Hospital for the rising number of patients who are critically ill. As a union, we are pleased to see one of our own members, Maritza Beniquez, a Registered Nurse be the first healthcare workers to receive the vaccination today. Nurses and all healthcare workers throughout this pandemic, have never wavered to care for patients desperately sick despite the high rate of exposure they face. We thank Maritza for being the first to be vaccinated as we enter a new phase of the pandemic outbreak where we hope to see fewer healthcare workers falling ill due to COVID-19.”