TEMPLE, TX — The first shipment of Pfizers COVID-19 vaccine has made its way to Central Texas. Baylor Scott and White in Temple received their shipment of 3,900 doses earlier this morning.
There's no exact count of how many healthcare workers have received the vaccine today, but BSW officials say they plan to vaccinate up to 300 medial professionals who come in constant contact with COVID-19 patients.
“There’s a lot of excitement among our physician's other providers nurses and other Frontline employees," Dr. Tresa McNeal, Hospitalist at Baylor Scott and White said. "It was a very extensive application process but we are extremely grateful that our site was selected as one of the initial delivery sites.”
Under direct orders from the state, health care workers considered high risk will have the option to get the vaccine first. Dr. Tresa McNeal a hospitalist at Baylor Scott and White explains though the time frame is fluid, they are already looking ahead to the next round of doses.
“We will be getting weekly updates on our dosage amounts being provided to us so we’re excited to be able to start off this process and were very helpful during this time now in the midst of a pandemic,” said McNeal.
McNeal says they believe the decision to actually get the vaccine is up to each individual person, but with hospitalizations rising and patients in and out of the ICU due to coronavirus, several people have already signed up.
“We have many, many people ready to get it, beyond those front-line workers that are at the highest risk,” said Dr. McNeal
“As soon as it is available and ready to go, and I am selected to get it, I will,” said Amy Mersiovsky, Director and Chair of Nursing at A&M Central Texas.
Although she is not on the front lines, Amy Mersiovsky says she will be first in line to get the vaccine when the time comes. She hopes the ongoing doses will ease some of the stress on our health care workers.
“Front line workers they’re getting tired they’re really getting stressed so anything that can be a point of hope for them is super important,” said Mersiovsky.
Right now, over 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been distributed across the country, as production increases and other vaccines seek approval, McNeal says those who have been prioritized will receive the vaccine.
“We are expecting ongoing shipments. We don’t know when or what exactly the pace of those but we are encouraged that essentially any healthcare worker who wants to receive the vaccine will be able to receive one,” said McNeal.
Federal health officials have said the government is picking up the tab for the vaccine.
They have invested $10 billion in research, production, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
So, anyone who wants it will be able to get it for free when it becomes available to them. This will be after health care professionals, other front line workers and those who fall in vulnerable populations who will be next in line to get the vaccine.