On January 8, 2021, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland 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. The first hospital colleague to receive the second vaccine dose was Amanda Ennen, emergency department director, who was also the first to receive the first dose on December 18, 2020.
Dr. Robert Schaefer, HSHS Medical Group family medicine physician in Highland was the first physician to be vaccinated at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland on December 18 and received his second dose on January 8 as well. All of the vaccines were administered smoothly and safely.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vinjay Bhooma shared, “Being fully vaccinated by getting the second doses is an important part to fully protecting our colleagues who are on the frontlines caring for patients during the pandemic,” he said. “It is very important that when you are able to get the vaccine that you ensure you receive both doses.”
Both Ennen and Schaefer mentioned that they had a very minimal reactions to the first vaccine and both were looking forward to getting the second dose to be fully vaccinated. “Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 gives a higher level of comfort knowing I am protecting myself and others who I care for,” Ennen said. “Having this vaccine is the next step to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic, added Schaefer.”
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.
“We are also very proud of our vaccine teams as they have done a great job with ensuring safe and efficient immunizations for our colleagues and medical staff,” added Bhooma. As soon as the vaccines were delivered from the local health department in mid-December, our team has put in extra time and effort to run successful vaccination clinics in our hospital for our colleagues.”
Until the pandemic is over, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland still encourages people to do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in the community 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.