With 5,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses safely tucked away at -70 degrees Farenheit, St. Luke’s University Health Network is working with urgency and diligence to vaccinate a monumental 2,000 health care workers through the weekend to prepare for an even larger shipment of vaccines next week.
The FDA’s overnight approval of the Moderna vaccine has cleared the way for the 12-system health network to receive more doses for it’s 16,000+ health care workers.
“I received my shot on Thursday,” states St. Luke’s Senior Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs, Jeffrey Jahre, MD. “It felt no different than any other vaccine, and I strongly encourage everyone who can to receive this vaccine. It will help end this pandemic.”
Employees at three of St. Luke’s hospitals – Anderson, Bethlehem and Sacred Heart – are receiving their vaccines over the weekend, with nurses administering 6 shots every 10 minutes. Nursing home employees and EMS personnel were also able to receive the vaccine at St. Luke’s this week.
St. Luke’s may be the largest supplier of the vaccine locally, as state officials credit the hospital network for its organization, logistical planning and efficiency.
“We have been working hand-in-hand with the Department of Health since this pandemic started,” states Colleen Sprissler, RN, MSN, Senior Director of Network Operations for St. Luke’s. “They are releasing the vaccine as it becomes available and everything has been running very smoothly.”
Employee vaccination clinics will open at St. Luke’s additional eight campuses in the coming days – a sign that community access to the vaccine may not be that far away.