Here is how local hospitals are gearing up for COVID vaccinations

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND (WJW) — In advance of an expected shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine next week, the Cleveland Clinic created a socially-distanced vaccine location ready to receive caregivers.

This is in addition to the hospital’s more than 16 ultra-cold freezers prepared to handle vaccines once approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Both the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth are among 10 of Ohio’s pre-positioned vaccine sites. The hospitals will be some of the first in Ohio to distribute the vaccine.

“A significant strain has been placed upon all the hospital systems across the state of Ohio including MetroHealth; we have increasing volume of very sick patients,” said Dr. Amy Ray, the MetroHealth Medical Director of Infection Prevention.

“The first shipment to pre-positioned hospitals will come directly to Pfizer. The initial allocation is about 975 doses and that’s just the first shipment.”

Frontline health care workers and congregate care settings are the initial priority while vaccine supply is limited. As more vaccines are approved and become available it will take the efforts of health departments, pharmacies, hospitals to vaccinate the public.

“Most estimates say we will have enough vaccine for the general public…healthy individuals by probably in the spring, going into the summer of 2021,” said Dr. Michelle Medina, Associate Chief of Clinical Operations within Cleveland Clinic Community Health. “That may or may not include enough vaccine for children because those studies are a little bit later.”

The Cleveland Clinic confirmed 1,300 caregivers are out because of the virus and quarantines across their health system. Both hospitals will not mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for caregivers at this time.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the first shipment from Pfizer could arrive on or around December 15. It will include 9,750 vaccines for Ohio’s prepositioned hospital sites. Walgreens and CVS will receive an additional 88,725 vaccines for congregate care vaccinations.

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