It’s a pivotal moment in the pandemic.
The FDA advisory panel has recommended emergency use for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
Which means, it could soon be approved and distributed around the country.
“Is this the, a light at the end of a tunnel? I would say absolutely,” said Keith Grant, senior system director of infection prevention at Hartford Healthcare.
He emphasizes that it’s a long tunnel. And while future vaccine approval will be a positive in the trenches of a global pandemic, Grant says it’s the beginning of another complicated, logistical phase of the coronavirus crisis
“In another few weeks we’ll have another vaccine as well, so two dosage that’s going to need to be administered, two different vaccines.”
Whenever the rollout, Hartford HealthCare is ready to administer the vaccine.
If all goes as expected, Grant says they hope to have their hands on the vaccine by Monday.
Governor Ned Lamont echoed that information on MSNBC Thursday morning. He was asked if hospitals in Connecticut already have the vaccine.
“I don’t believe so, but I know we’re expecting the delivery as early as this weekend or shortly Monday, Tuesday,” he said.
As Lamont discussed in his vaccine distribution timeline last week, he said health care workers, nursing home residents, and medical first responders will be the first to get the virus.
But of those groups, who gets the limited batch first?
“We’ve deferred that to our vaccine advisory board. That’s head of public health, that’s some of the leading hospital folks. In terms of prioritizing emergency room and ICU nurses, we’ll let them make some of those calls,” said Lamont.
Grant is a member of the state’s COVID-19 advisory board.
He says the delegation of the dosages continues to change as people in the most high-risk category are determined.
“It is as fair as possible across the health systems in Connecticut,” he said.
A week ago the hospital originally thought they’d get about 9,000 in the first week.
Now they’re hearing a little less than 2,000 as more dosages are being shifted to the elderly.
“There’s a shift to allocate some more to nursing homes and as quickly as possible. So we’re OK with it. As you said before, we’re getting some. We have a vaccine.”
He adds, “If you strip all the science out of it, take epidemiology, infectious disease all of that out, and you just think about who really needs this vaccine, I think they’ve done a really, really good job. “
Whatever the number they’ll receive, Hartford HealthCare is ready to go.
Their freezer system could hold one dose for every Connecticut resident
While we may soon have a new tool to fight this virus, it’s not an immediate fix, so Grant reminds the public in the meantime to not let up and follow safety protocols.
“There’s someone within your household who may be more vulnerable than the next person. That decision might not just impact this Christmas, but it might be impacting having your loved ones around for next Christmas.”