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After many challenging long months and no clear sense of an end in sight, today marks a historic day for UW Medicine in our efforts to combat COVID-19.

Today we joined representatives from each UW Medicine entity to witness and celebrate the first group of employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Representing the entire UW Medicine system (including all of our union partners), the first-day vaccine participants included:

  • Emily Agudo, nurse, Emergency Department, UW Medical Center – Northwest
  • Shahina Banthanavasi, medical director, Hospitalist Team, Valley Medical Center
  • Kristian Duenez, medial assistant, Float
  • Amy Fry, nurse, COVID ICU, Harborview Medical Center
  • Joseph B. Gipson, Environmental Services, UW Medical Center – Montlake
  • Alan Goto, paramedic, Seattle Fire Department Medic One
  • Mikaela Hagberg, flight nurse, Airlift Northwest
  • Patricia Kritek, Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, UW Medical Center – Montlake
  • Annika Lucich, nurse, COVID acute care, UW Medical Center – Montlake
  • Jules Mack, clinical specialist, Respiratory Care, Harborview Medical Center
  • Emily Martin, R3, Emergency Medicine
  • Thuan Ong, director, Post-Acute Care Network, Harborview Medical Center
  • Myo Thant, patient care technician, UW Medical Center – Montlake

After opening vaccine scheduling for Priority Group 1 employees last Friday, the initial response has been swift and impressive with close to 100% participation. Vaccinations for this group will begin Thursday, Dec. 17. When we open up scheduling to Priority Group 2, we should be on target to have most of our front-line workers vaccinated by the end of 2020 — a milestone in this near year-long pandemic.

We are extremely confident in the safety of this vaccine and believe it will help us turn a critical corner at a time when our staff are stretched and tired. We encourage every employee to sign up once you receive notice of eligibility for participation. For more information, please continue to consult the FAQ or submit vaccine-related questions to

Preparing the UW Medicine community for this vaccination campaign has been a major operational undertaking on top of an already heavy workload. Thank you to the many colleagues who have helped us move so quickly to protect our employees and to strengthen our ability to respond to this relentless pandemic.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Washington

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington, and
President, UW Physicians