As Dr. Mark Rupp at the University of Nebraska Medical Center reflects on the effort researchers have made for months, the hospital system eagerly awaits its first order of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.”This is a moonshot for medicine,” Rupp, UNMC’s division chief of infectious diseases said.Monday afternoon, CHI Health vaccinated the first five front-line health care workers within its 14-hospital system. CUMC Bergan Mercy received its first shipment of the vaccine at around 6:30 a.m. Monday. UNMC expects to receive 2-3,000 Pfizer doses by Tuesday.”Some of those doses have also been designated for the first responders who work so closely with our organization,” Rupp said. “The rest will be going to our highest-risk personnel.”Nebraska’s distribution plan calls for the first vaccine doses to go to front-line health workers and other key professions, including meatpacking workers and teachers. Gov. Pete Ricketts says the general public likely won’t be eligible until April. Once UNMC’s shipment arrives, Rupp said trained staff will carefully thaw and measure doses to be stored in specialized ultra-cold freezers.”Our pharmacists are experts at this, and they’re taking care of all the logistics, from delivery up to the point where it’s in a syringe ready to be given to somebody,” Rupp said. UNMC plans to open its first vaccine clinic on Thursday, Dec. 17.At Bryan Health in Lincoln, staff also opened their first shipment of Pzifer’s vaccine on Monday. Employees prepared doses for their colleagues to take at both of Bryan’s campuses.In Pottawattamie County, Iowa, planning director Matt Wyant said the public health division and its partners are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to authorize Moderna’s vaccine candidate, which won’t need to be kept as cold as Pfizer’s vaccine.”Our first shipment should — as long as the approvals go through, happen on (Dec.) 21st — the state’s told us we can expect to receive that anywhere from 24-to-36 hours after it ships,” he said. Rupp said smaller, more rural hospitals and clinics across Nebraska and Iowa will also likely have priority in receiving the initial rounds of Moderna’s vaccine. Wyant said Pottawattamie County Public Health is ready to roll out vaccine clinics. Both he and Rupp said they and their colleagues will put every dose to good use, knowing those people will come back for a second shot in a few weeks.”The state has specifically said, ‘Look, don’t hold anything back. If you get 800 doses of it, we want you to vaccinate 800 people,’” he said.
As Dr. Mark Rupp at the University of Nebraska Medical Center reflects on the effort researchers have made for months, the hospital system eagerly awaits its first order of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a moonshot for medicine,” Rupp, UNMC’s division chief of infectious diseases said.
Monday afternoon, CHI Health vaccinated the first five front-line health care workers within its…
Read More: Metro-area hospital, public health leaders prepare for vaccine rollout