Cape Cod Healthcare takes the lead to vaccinate Cape Cod
By Michael K. Lauf, President and CEO, Cape Cod Healthcare
One year. It has been one year since this pandemic has changed healthcare, our community and our society forever. For one year, Cape Cod Healthcare has been at the forefront of this pandemic – testing, treating, mitigating and helping people recover from this treacherous disease.
We have put this mission above everything else.
Today, we are embarking on a new role in this pandemic as we assume responsibility for vaccinating our community. Cape Cod Healthcare will lead a consortium of government, towns and healthcare partners across Cape Cod, dedicated to vaccinating our community with a focus on those who are most vulnerable.
Our objective is simple: Ensure all those who need and qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine on Cape Cod receive it.
We will continue to work with the consortium to identify and prioritize individuals on Cape Cod who meet the state’s criteria. We have used our campuses and the Cape Cod Melody Tent site to test the vaccination process and now we will stand up the largest vaccination site on the Cape. The vaccination site at Cape Cod Community College will enable us to increase vaccination distribution three-fold, with the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,500 people per day.
I’m so proud of the group of people who have been vaccinating Cape Codders for the past three months. They have braved harsh weather conditions, relentless questions and sometimes, people's emotions. They remained dedicated to vaccinating their neighbors and doing so with a smile. I will be forever grateful.
Cape Cod Healthcare has a significant challenge ahead of us. Knowing that we need to inoculate between 70% and 80% of our population is a big task, but it is one we are up for. We will target those in hard to reach places, those with limited access to technology and transportation. We will target those at higher risk for COVID-19 and those who meet the state’s guidelines. If we can get vaccine, we will give it and we will give it with compassion and with empathy.
The summer is near and the sooner we can inoculate, the sooner we can get back to normal.
This year we will welcome hundreds of thousands of people back to this incredible peninsula and we will be ready. We will do our part as our community’s safety net healthcare provider – we will wear masks and wash hands and socially distance - and will be ready to greet our visitors with smiles.
I’m incredibly optimistic that this summer will resemble summers pre-pandemic. And that is thanks to every one of you for doing your part to support Cape Cod Healthcare and our community.
I would like to personally recognize everyone who has helped to lead the way with our vaccination efforts on Cape Cod; including our pharmacy, nursing, IT and registration teams, our leadership team: Lori Jewett, Jim Mangan, Judy Quinn and our volunteers. We truly could not have done this without you. You have made a difference in our community and for that, we are indebted to you.