(Update: Adding comments from St. Charles executives)
“I realize it’s just a first step in a long journey,” says Dr. ER
BEND, Ore (KTVZ) – Nine months after the pandemic and the first medical service providers in St. Charles-Bend was vaccinated today with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
It meant that Dr. Frances McCabe started her work week a little differently on Monday.
“It’s great to start this part of the process,” Dr. McCabe told reporters.
He headed to a conference room, signed his name, sat down, and first prepared for a central Oregon.
“Slightly ill,” Dr. McCabe said as he was injected with the vaccine, which reached St. Charles last Thursday.
The emergency physician was one of five medical workers in St. Louis. Charles, with Jonathan Calles, certified nurse; DJ Pierce, respiratory therapist; Becky LaCoss, an environmental caregiver; Cathy Davila, phlebotomist in the emergency department; and Julie Bostrom, a registered nurse in the emergency department, to receive the first COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We are thrilled to offer this vaccine to those who care for us on the front lines,” said Joe Sluka, president and CEO of St. Louis. Charles Health System, “Those people have done an enormous amount throughout the entire pandemic.”
Dr. Jeff Absalon, executive director of St. Charles said the hospital will distribute all of its first Pfizer vaccine shipments by Wednesday.
“We were confident that there is a suitable delivery that we will use to vaccinate the same vaccine caregivers initially in about 21 days from now,” said Dr. Absalon.
He also told NewsChannel 21 that the hospital sees an additional dose of vaccine in each villainy, similar to what other hospitals in the country have reported. This means that they have more than 975 doses expected in the first shipment.
But just because vaccinations are starting doesn’t mean the pandemic is over.
“So it’s very important to understand that just because you get shot doesn’t mean you can change the behavior of any of you,” Dr. McCabe said.
And he has a reason at home to keep it that way.
“I have a son with a fairly significant congenital heart defect,” said Dr. McCabe. “So we’re very careful at home.”
But taking precautions is not so difficult for her, she said.
“Standard precautions should be able to protect everyone, right?” Dr. McCabe said, “You don’t want to do weird, unnecessary, stressful things, do you?”
Now he is one step closer to not having to worry at all.
“Gata Central Oregon!” Dr. McCabe exclaimed as he flexed his arm before receiving the vaccine. Saint Charles is expecting a new vaccine shipment on Thursday.
Liberation from St. Carol
On Monday, at 11 a.m., the first group of five St. Charles headed to the conference area at Bend Hospital to receive what many call a “blow of hope” in his arms, the first COVID-19 vaccines in the region.
“It is no small feat to set up a precision vaccination program so quickly. It was really an extraordinary team effort, “said Dr. Fran McCabe, an emergency physician at St. Charles Bend, who was part of the first group to be vaccinated in central Oregon, according to the hospital.
“I’m very grateful to have been included in the first group of hospital staff to receive this vaccine,” McCabe said. “Although it’s very interesting, I realize it’s just a first step in a long journey and all of us. we will need you to remain vigilant. ”
Spaced safely in the area at the same time as McCabe, Jonathan Calles, certified nurse; DJ Pierce, respiratory therapist; Becky LaCoss, an environmental caregiver; Cathy Davila, phlebotomist in the emergency department; and Julie Bostrom, a registered nurse in the emergency department, “proudly rolled up their sleeves and received vaccinations,” the hospital said.
All of these caregivers have been caring for and supporting patients with COVID-19 for several months.
Monday’s clinic was the first of many. St. Charles plans to administer his first wave of 975 doses today through Wednesday of this week. The health system expects to receive a second shipment of 975 doses later this week, which will be administered Monday through Wednesday next week.
“As you can imagine, the logistics behind scheduling caregivers in a variety of departments at different times also ensure that we have an army of trained vaccinators and that the pharmacy team is ready to defrost and dilute the doses – all keeping everyone involved safe – it’s been a monumental task in the last few weeks, “said Dr. Jeff Absalon, chief executive officer for St. Louis. Charles.
“We are so grateful to the hundreds of caregivers who have stepped up to make this day possible,” he added. “And we are excited that many of our caregivers will soon have much greater protection against this terrible virus.”
St. Charles said he is working closely with the Oregon Health Authority and local public health departments on the next steps in the plan to launch the vaccine to community health providers, EMS agencies and others at the forefront of this fight.