The first allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to Sarah Bush Lincoln Wednesday afternoon and employees were eager to pull up their sleeves to receive the first round of vaccines.
Hospitalist Arli Bumatayo, MD, was the first employee to receive the vaccine. He has direct patient contact with hospitalized patients since the beginning of the pandemic.
The allotment was coordinated and delivered by Coles County Public Health Department (CCHD). CCHD Administrator Dianna Stenger credits Gloria Spear, CCHD Environmental Health Director, and Lisa Sorensen, CCHD Director of Nursing, and their team with coordinating orders and deliveries, as well as contact tracing and reporting data to the State.
SBL Safety, Quality and Risk Administrator Nancy Wurtsbaugh, RN, echoed Stenger’s comments. “Gloria and Lisa have been incredibly helpful to us throughout the pandemic. We are very grateful to their efforts to secure our first allotment of vaccines.
SBL employees, who wished to receive the vaccine, noted their request through an internal platform. The list of employees were then sorted into tiers by work location, position and age. The first allotment will be given to those who work in more high risk areas, such as the Emergency Department, Respiratory Therapy, Critical Care Unit and on nursing units in which COVID-19 patients receive care.
The vaccine arrived thawed and will be distributed within five days. The Laboratory has an ultra-cold freezer which stores the reagents used in COVID-19 specimen testing. Subsequent frozen vaccine allotments will be stored in this freezer until the vaccines can be given.
SBL President & CEO Jerry Esker added, “The Coles County Health Department and other public health departments throughout the region we serve have been wonderful partners with us throughout the pandemic. We have relied on their expertise and assistance for most of this year and I know processes and procedures went more smoothly because of them.
Esker also noted the immense amount of work of the SBL staff throughout the pandemic and in readying the organization for the vaccine. “Our staff have worked tirelessly for 10 months to care for our community. We hope this vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.”
For more information about the vaccine, go to www.CDC.gov.
Pictured is Infection Preventionist Lynn Berner, RN, administering the COVID-19 vaccine to Hospitalist Arli Bumatayo, MD.