On Monday, Dec. 28, 30 Summit Pacific staff and Grays Harbor County first responders volunteered to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as the hospital finalized its vaccine process during a test run.
In addition to frontline caregivers, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Dietrich was one of the first at Summit Pacific to be vaccinated. Since then, the organization has been actively vaccinating hospital staff as well as many first responders and those working in long-term care facilities in Grays Harbor County.
“There are many interested patients and community members waiting to get the vaccine. This is an enormous task, but it is our commitment to the community to distribute the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible within the criteria established by the governor,” said Dietrich.
Summit Pacific was working to vaccinate as many staff and community partners eligible in Phase 1A as possible by Friday, Jan. 8.
Summit Pacific is actively planning for Phase 1B, which will include contacting eligible patients and organizations to assess how many eligible staff they have and who wants to be vaccinated. Summit will use this information to create a Phase 1B eligibility list. Summit will use the list to contact eligible individuals directly as the vaccine becomes available.
There are four tiers of prioritization for Phase 1B: 1. People age 70 or older and people age 50 or older living in multi-generational households; 2. High-risk critical workers age 50 or older in congregate settings, including grocery stores, correctional facilities, public transit, schools and agriculture; 3. People age 16-70 with two or more underlying health conditions; and 4. High-risk critical workers in congregate settings under age 50 and staff and volunteers of all ages in congregate living facilities.
“We’re committed to ensuring that all who are eligible and want to receive the vaccine are able get it as supply arrives,” said Dietrich.
Vaccines are administered within Summit Pacific Medical Center and require a 15-minute observation period before the patient can leave. “In an effort to provide a safe, comfortable space for our community to be vaccinated, we set up our vaccines to take place in our largest conference room within the hospital,” said Dietrich. “Our staff have a direct line of sight on everyone to watch for reactions, and if needed, we’re just down the hall from the Emergency Department. Thankfully the risk of a serious reaction is exceedingly small.”