HSHS St. John’s Hospital began administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine today. The second dose of this vaccine is given 21 days after the first dose. Sally Tamizuddin, RN, a St. John’s critical care nurse, was the first colleague to receive the vaccine on December 16 and was among the first to receive the second dose of the vaccine today.
“These second doses are just as important as the first doses we gave a few weeks ago. This second dose is making sure the vaccination provides its full protection for our colleagues who are on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said Dr. Gurpreet Mander, HSHS Illinois Chief Physician Executive. “When the vaccines are offered to the community, we urge people to make sure they get both doses.”
Tamizuddin shared that she experienced no reactions to the first dose of the vaccine and was eager to get the second dose.
“I am so grateful to get the second dose today as it will give me more confidence as I continue to care for my patients,” she said. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is not requiring its colleagues to receive the vaccination at this time, but it is recommending colleagues and the community receive the vaccine when it becomes available to them.
“As soon as the vaccines became available to us in mid-December from the state and local health departments our team has worked tirelessly to set up and run vaccination clinics in our hospital for our colleagues,” Mander said. “We are so proud of the coordination and teamwork to ensure the careful yet rapid immunization of our colleagues and medical staff.”
Until the pandemic is over, St. John’s is encouraging people to continue do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in our area through diligent hand washing, social distancing, masking and staying home if not feeling well. The hospital is also encouraging the public to not delay doctor’s appointments, screenings and visits to the emergency room in emergent situations.