Not all ChristianaCare employees will be able to be vaccinated, here’s why

“Over the coming months, as more supply arrives, we anticipate offering the vaccine to all of our caregivers.” | Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, President and CEO at ChristianaCare

CHRISTIANA (DE): Delaware is expected to receive 8,775 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine within the next few days. Upon Delaware’s receipt of the vaccine, which is required to be kept at below-freezing temperatures, health care systems will be able to begin vaccinating their frontline employees within 24 hours.

However, Janice Nevin, president and CEO at ChristianaCare says not all it’s staff will be able to receive the vaccine in the first round of shots once it’s received at ChristianaCare, mostly due to the limited amount of supply they will receive.

In a news release issued by ChristianaCare, Nevin released the following statement:

“The first COVID-19 vaccine is expected to receive emergency use authorization from the Food & Drug Administration and begin arriving in our community within the next week.

For all of us at ChristianaCare who have been serving our community throughout this pandemic, this is a turning point that we have been waiting for.,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, President and CEO at ChristianaCare. “We still have many months ahead of us before we emerge from the pandemic, but the path forward is becoming clearer.”

“We have been preparing for a vaccine for months. We have 10 freezers ready now at Christiana Hospital for vaccine storage and expect to receive additional ones in the coming weeks. We are partnering closely with state and federal health agencies and will follow their guidance on safely administering the vaccine to our caregivers and our community.

We anticipate receiving a very limited supply of vaccine at first. According to plans set forth by the federal and state governments, the initial supply of the vaccine will be designated for health care workers, first responders and vulnerable populations such as people in long-term care facilities. Vaccines will gradually become more available over the coming months, eventually to the general public in spring or summer 2021.

Photo Submitted | Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, President and CEO at ChristianaCare

At ChristianaCare, our first priority will be to offer the vaccine to our caregivers who work in patient care and supporting roles. We are still finalizing these criteria. Over the coming months, as more supply arrives, we anticipate offering the vaccine to all of our caregivers. We will not require anyone to get vaccinated, but we will encourage our caregivers to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

We recognize that the speed at which the vaccine has been approved has raised questions about its safety. Our experts have been following the data and the science throughout the approval process, and we are confident that the approved vaccine will be safe and effective.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is the first that is expected to receive emergency use authorization, has already been tested with tens of thousands of people who volunteered for large-scale clinical trials.

We will follow the FDA guidelines to ensure that we only vaccinate individuals for whom the vaccine has been determined to be safe.”

According to the Delaware Division of Health, The potential side effects from the vaccine are similar to those experienced by people who receive the flu shot: soreness at the injection site, fever, headaches, and body aches that usually go away within 24 hours.

Unless symptoms worsen or linger, there is no need to seek medical care.

Pfizer reported no serious side effects from the vaccine, and there were no deaths directly linked to the vaccine itself. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness and any long-term or rare side effects.

The Pfizer vaccine has a 90 percent effectiveness rate. Comparatively, the flu vaccine is generally 40 to 60 percent effective. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a live virus and cannot give individuals the coronavirus.

The Pfizer vaccine does require two doses spaced about three weeks a part to be effective. The same brand of vaccine must be administered for both doses. DPH plans to remind individuals to get their second dose of the vaccine by sending reminder letters, providing automated phone calls and text messages and by patient record cards.

Nevin added, “We thank our caregivers for their continued compassion, dedication and service to our patients and our community throughout this pandemic. We ask everyone in the community to take the simple steps needed to reduce the spread of the virus: continue to wear a mask, stay physically distant, wash hands frequently and avoid gatherings large and small.”

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