The Daily Record: LifeBridge Health begins COVID-19 vaccinations of frontline caregivers

By Daily Record Staff
December 18, 2020

LifeBridge Health announced on Dec. 18 it has begun to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health care workers.

The first doses of the newly approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived at LifeBridge Health on Dec. 17 with 24 team members receiving the vaccine that afternoon at Sinai Hospital. The health system began larger vaccination clinics Dec. 18 at Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital and Carrol Hospital for employees who have pre-registered to receive the vaccine.

In deciding who will get the vaccine first, LifeBridge Health is following CDC guidelines as well as Gov. Larry Hogan’s four-stage distribution plan. LifeBridge Health expects to receive 2,900 doses with this first round of vaccinations.

LifeBridge Health has created an “opt-in” program for the COVID vaccine, meaning that employees must register to let the health system know that they want to receive the COVID vaccine. It will not be mandatory.

There has been a strong response to the initial inquiry asking employees to register. Within seven minutes of the registration announcement, approximately 100 employees had registered for the vaccine. Within one hour, that number jumped to 500. As of Wednesday evening, nearly 4,000 LifeBridge Health employees had registered to get the vaccine. LifeBridge Health has about 13,000 employees.

LifeBridge Health has been preparing for the vaccine roll-out for months, including ordering two new ultra-cold freezers for the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at -80 degrees Celsius. LifeBridge Health also acquired a freezer that goes to -20 degrees Celsius to accommodate other COVID vaccines with different storage requirements. The pharmacy team has also been working closely with occupational health as well as the IT team and LifeBridge Health’s Virtual Hospital to coordinate the vaccine registration process.

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Source: The Daily Record