IRMC has received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This is one of the most important milestones since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.
Today, we have 975 vaccines on hand. The vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius and freezers with those frigid capabilities are on-site. Each person who receives the vaccine is required to have a second dose three weeks after the first dose is administered.
“Many of our employees have been working long hours and have spent extended time away from their families, fearful of the unknown, and they are exhausted,” Steve Wolfe, President & CEO said. “This is our first glimmer of hope and optimism that we are right around the corner for making progress in the fight against the virus.”
In most states, Pennsylvania included, the vaccine will first be given to frontline healthcare workers. At IRMC, all vaccines in the first shipment will be given to high-risk hospital personnel over the coming days.
Among the first to receive the vaccine at IRMC are frontline nurses, housekeepers, physicians, respiratory therapists, emergency management personnel and more.
“Moving forward, we are going to see more and more of our frontline workers, people who are risking their lives and protecting us, they are going to be more protected and we are very excited about that,” Wolfe said.
“A lot planning went into making sure IRMC was among the first to receive the vaccine. I am thankful for our team and the collaboration we have with the health care providers in the community,” said Adam Kochman, pharmacy manager at IRMC.
While supply is limited in the United States, we are confident that supply will increase in the coming weeks and months to allow others to be vaccinated. IRMC will alert the community when we know more.
In the meantime, continue to cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay home when you feel unwell, practice social distancing, avoid gatherings, and wash your hands and clean high touch surfaces frequently.
For more information regarding the vaccine, visit the CDC website.