Grays Harbor Community Hospital began administration of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday to area first responders who fall under the state Department of Health’s Phase 1A standard.
The hospital vaccination team, led by Chief Nursing Officer Melanie Brandt, is working with first responders from Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, Ocean Shores, Cosmopolis, Ride to Wellness, South Beach, Lake Quinault, Fire Districts 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10, and frontline healthcare professionals from Roger Saux Health Center.
Vaccination is done via a drive-up service, said hospital spokesman Chris Majors. After vaccine administration those people are directed to a parking area, where they are monitored by highly trained nurses for any adverse reactions. Second doses of the vaccinations will be administered in three weeks.
“We continue to vaccinate frontline healthcare professionals and first responders who qualify for group 1A. No explicit guidance has been given as to who may be in the next phase or at what point it might begin,” said Majors. “This is a massive undertaking with limited resources, however (the hospital) is dedicated to heal, comfort and serve our community with compassion. This means we will continue putting in the extra effort until all who qualify for phase 1A and want a vaccine, have one.”
Phase 1A healthcare personnel include first responders who have direct patient contact, within 6 feet, and are unable to telework. These include personnel working in hospital sites managing suspected/confirmed COVID patients; emergency departments; urgent care; clinics (walk-in, respiratory); home; isolation and quarantine facility. Types of workers in this classification include health care workers; technicians; security; environmental, janitorial, and facility staff; non-remote translators; counselors; home health aides, caregivers and companions.
When vaccinations will be available to others is still not known.
“Allocations of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be determined by the state, so at this time we are uncertain when we will have enough vaccine doses to offer to those in other phases,” said Majors. “However, we will continue to communicate information as quickly as we can be safely confirmed.”
More information about COVID vaccination will be available on the website, https://www.ghcares.org/covid19-vaccine-grays-harbor.