FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Southcoast Hospitals Group is preparing to be among the first to receive and administer Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine.
Nearly two thousand doses are expected to arrive on Monday.
“Hope and excitement. I look forward to the vaccine very much and I really think it will start to make a difference, ”said Vice President of Operations Tonya Johnson.
Johnson told 12 News they have ultra cold freezers on site and won’t waste time.
“Our hope is to do some sort of immunization dress rehearsal on Tuesday, and then to immunize our first staff on Wednesday morning. Make sure all processes are properly documented, handling is appropriate. Our goal is not to waste a dose, ”she said.
Healthcare workers who treat COVID-19 patients are the first to receive the vaccine in Massachusetts. Residents and staff of long-term facilities will follow.
The Southcoast Hospitals group includes Charlton Memorial Hospitals, St. Lukes Hospitals and Tobey Hospitals.
Johnson said healthcare workers getting the vaccine would maximize the benefit and reduce the risk to others.
“The people most likely to come into contact with patients with infectious processes with Covid-19 disease and thus keep us healthy and safe allows us to keep our patients healthy and safe. The demand will initially go beyond the supply chain, but eventually anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get it and that is great news and great hope for us, ”she said.
Johnson said they are recommending staff receive their first dose at the end of their shift because there could be mild side effects such as pain at the injection site, fatigue or headaches. .