As one of the state’s Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers (RHCC), HSHS St. John’s Hospital received Region 3’s vaccine allocation and administered the first COVID-19 vaccine doses to hospital colleagues today. Representatives from four of the region’s 18 counties picked up their allocations as well as Memorial Health System.
The doses were administered to clinical colleagues providing direct patient care, all of who voluntarily consented to receive the vaccine. At this time, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is not requiring its colleagues to receive the vaccination, although they are recommending colleagues receive the vaccine when it is available to them.
This afternoon, Sally Tamizuddin, RN, a St. John’s critical care nurse, and Dr. Prashant Jagtap, St. John’s Hospital medical director of critical care and HSHS Medical Group intensivist, received the first doses of the vaccine at the hospital. All of the vaccines were administered smoothly and safely.
“I’ve worked as a critical care nurse for eight years at St. John’s and it has been my honor to serve patients in this capacity. It has been a challenging time during this pandemic, and I am so grateful that the vaccines have arrived,” Tamizuddin said. “This will help me continue to serve my patients safely since I know how much they need my care.”
Dr. Jagtap added, “We are so grateful to have the vaccine available to our frontline colleagues this week. Vaccinations give us an additional tool to help our colleagues stay healthy to serve our patients as we continue to battle this pandemic in our hospital.”
St. John’s Hospital will be following the CDC and state guidelines to determine which phases its colleagues will receive the vaccine. In the coming weeks, the hospital will continue to work closely with the Sangamon County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health for future allocations.
“We are honored to serve as the RHCC for our region and help coordinate getting the vaccines to nearby counties as well as start to offer these vaccinations to our colleagues,” said E.J. Kuiper, HSHS Illinois President and CEO. “We will continue to offer the vaccine to our colleagues in the coming weeks and encourage them to take it when it is available. We are so grateful for their service at HSHS St. John’s especially during this challenging time.”
Although the first shipments of vaccine have arrived, it will take several months for the vaccine to be accessible to all members of our communities, so St. John’s Hospital still encourages people to do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in Sangamon County and central Illinois. Community members should continue to be diligent with hand washing, social distancing, masking and staying home when they are ill.