JANESVILLE, Wisconsin, December 22, 2020 – This morning, Mercyhealth received it first allotment of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. Mercyhealth has developed comprehensive plans to safely and effectively distribute the vaccine for the region, as vaccination is the best way to prevent infection from COVID-19.
Mercyhealth in Janesville received its first shipment of 1,950 doses directly from the state of Wisconsin this morning and delivered 375 of those doses to Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center-Walworth. Our nursing teams began vaccinating its Janesville employees at 2:30 pm today and will continue administering for the next few days. At 4 pm, Mercyhealth had already vaccinated 184 of its employees.
Dr. Imdad Ahmed, Electrophysiologist at Mercyhealth, was first in line to get the vaccine today once it arrived at Mercyhealth in Janesville. “Today is a historic day for us all,” he said. “It’s one dose of injection today, that’s one giant leap for mankind."
Pfizer reports its vaccine is 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among people who had no evidence of prior infection. Due to limited initial supply and based on federal and state guidance, the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine is being given to Mercyhealth employees who are high priority, patient-facing areas such as the emergency department and medical intensive care units, and areas where health care workers are at a higher risk for COVID-19 exposure.
“Mercyhealth developed comprehensive plans to safely and effectively distribute the vaccine to our staff, as vaccination is the best way to prevent infection from COVID-19,” said Don Janczak, PharmD, system director of pharmacy at Mercyhealth. “Our pharmacy and nursing staff are trained to prepare the vials of vaccines and administer them in a safe an effective manner. Today is a day to celebrate.”
While things look promising, it is important to know there are several steps to move through before a vaccine is available to the public. It is critical that we all take steps to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. As we approach the holidays, we understand how important it is to gather with family and friends but our local hospitals are caring for an increasing number of COVID-19 patients. You can help us stop the spread and reduce pressure on hospitals by wearing a mask, not gathering with people outside your household, avoid contact with people who are sick, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds, practice good hand hygiene, and if you have symptoms, stay home.