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Sparrow Hospital identifies who will receive COVID-19 vaccine first

According to Pharmacy Director of Sparrow Hospital Todd Belding, staff members working directly with COVID-19 patients will be given the vaccine first
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 4:25 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Sparrow Health System has identified who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine first once it is released.

According to Pharmacy Director of Sparrow Hospital Todd Belding, staff members working directly with COVID-19 patients will be given the vaccine first. Next, it will be staff members working with non-COVID positive patients, and then the rest of hospital staff members.

The state is expecting to distribute about 300,00 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in December. About 6,000 of those doses will go to Sparrow Health System and its affiliates.

“Our affiliates, all of their caregivers will get it and we’re also going to work with our local EMS, so EMS will be able to go to our pharmacies and get vaccinations,” said Belding.

But Sparrow’s main hospital in Lansing will not have enough doses for its staff members.

Belding said there are 9,000 workers, but only 2,000 doses of the vaccine will be available. However, Belding said a second wave of the vaccine could be distributed in January.

While Sparrow waits for a vaccine, health officials are researching side-effects of the vaccine.

Sparrow’s Vice President of Quality and Performance Improvement Paul Entler said some patients can feel headaches or fatigue.

It won’t be mandatory for staff members to receive a vaccine.

The country has been waiting for a vaccine to be released in order to decrease the amount of COVID-19 cases. But health officials are wary that cases will not decrease as quickly as they want since not everyone will get a vaccine.

“It’s hard to know what percent we would need to get vaccinated in the region to get herd immunity. That would mean enough people either had COVID or get vaccinated, so those that may not have had it are much more protected than if they weren’t if we didn’t have a specific percentage,” said Entler.

Pfizer and Moderno are waiting on CDC approval. They are about 95 percent completed in their Phase 3 clinical trials. Entler said although it’s likely these will be the first vaccines released, there could be more to follow.

“Pfizer and Moderno are the first two and there are several in development right now and I think we have the potential of dealing with all of those vaccines at some point. This technology wasn’t just something that came about in 2020. It’s been studied for some time now,”Entler said. “Sometimes difficult to replicate and these companies have been able to do this. I’m actually very excited about the promise. Not only for COVID-19 vaccinations but for other future vaccinations.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is using a new formula that could change the future of vaccines. It’s unclear when a vaccine will be made available to the public.

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