On January 7, 2021, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital began administering the second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose of this vaccine is given 21 days after the first dose. St. Elizabeth’s colleagues Erin Manka and Philip Gray were among the first to receive the second vaccine doses today. Both are registered nurses working in the Emergency Department and they were also the first to receive the initial dose on December 17. All of the vaccines were administered smoothly and safely.
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Chief Medical Officer Vinay Bhooma, MD, shared, “Distribution of the second doses of the vaccine is another important step for our hospital colleagues to be further protected from COVID-19 as they continue caring for all of our patients.”
“From the initial delivery of vaccines to our hospital last month, the coordination with St. Clair County Health Department and our internal vaccination clinic planning team has be exceptional. The process has and continues to be efficient and impressive,” Dr. Bhooma said. “I am proud and grateful of our colleagues’ efforts to ensure all our healthcare providers and staff, who choose to do so, can receive immunization for their protection and the protection of their patients.”
At this time, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is not requiring its colleagues to receive the vaccination, although they are recommending to colleagues and the community to receive the vaccine when it is available to them.
“I encourage the general public to also get both doses of the vaccine when they become available within our communities. Together, we can slow the spread of this disease and its impact on our region,” Dr. Bhooma added.
Until the pandemic is over, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital still encourages people to do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in the metro east region by continuing with diligent hand washing, social distancing, masking and staying home if you are not feeling well. The hospital is also encouraging you to not delay your doctor’s appointments, screenings and visits to the emergency room in emergent situations.
Photo Caption: HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital emergency department nurse Erin Manka receives the second COVID-19 vaccination dose. She was one of the first five colleagyes to receive the initial dose on December 17 from the initial Pfizer delivery. Vaccination clinics continue for St. Elizabeth’s healthcare providers and colleagues, both second round doses and first rounds with the Moderna vaccine.