Dickinson County Healthcare System prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – Pfizer submitted a request for a Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the FDA recently.

This means high-risk populations could receive the vaccine by the end of December. Susan Hadley, VP Clinical Services and Population Health at DCHS, says they don’t know when the vaccine will arrive but they have put in their request for how much they need.

“Our plan is to work closely with the health department and just work on a safe and efficient roll-out of the vaccine. We have not gotten notified of when we will receive the vaccine we have put in our request for the number of vaccines for frontline workers and first responders,” said Hadley

Hadley says they purchased a freezer to store the vaccine in already.

“We are preparing to receive the Pfizer vaccine which needs to be stored at negative 70 celsius so we have purchased the specialized freezer for that storage and our local hospital foundation board helped sponsor that purchase,” said Hadley. “That will prepare us to house the vaccine not only for our healthcare system but for our entire community and surrounding communities we’ll be able to hold 90,000 vaccines in that particular refrigerator.”

They are working closely with the Dickinson County Health Department to create a roll-out plan. Healthcare workers will receive the vaccine first.

“The hospital is part of that top tier, those frontline workers, and we have a subcommittee here at Dickinson that will be looking at those workers that are at the front line and at highest risk so that we can offer that vaccine to those so that we can provide critical patient care so we will be looking at those areas first for risk stratification,” said Hadley. “Then we’ll prioritize all of the other folks that work here we’ve included our independent physicians, all of our clinics and our first responders will be very important as well as our Integrity EMS so we have a subgroup actually working on that priority list right now.”

They are also making preparations for when Moderna and Astrazeneca get approvals for their vaccine.

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