BENNINGTON, VT, (NEWS10) – A second round of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is heading to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center on Monday.
250 SVMC healthcare workers received the vaccine last Wednesday, Dec. 16th. Dr. Trey Dobson, Chief Medical Officer of SVMC, says the hospital will be receiving doses of the vaccine weekly.
“In general, the plan for Vermont is similar to many other states. SVMC is able to receive it directly from the manufacturer and the hospitals themselves will start off and get through majority of the healthcare workers,” says Dr. Dobson.
Once vaccinated, masks still need to be worn. Dr. Dobson was one of the 250 healthcare workers who received the vaccine last week. “I still have to wear a mask. My risk is still actually high and people don’t understand that. My risk will still be high because they are not vaccinated. Once we get that population vaccinated, then the risk drops significantly,” he says.
The healthcare workers who were vaccinated last week still need to receive their second dosage. “Timing on this Pfizer vaccine will be about 21 days between vaccinations. We also hope to receive some Moderna vaccine this week and that time difference is 28 days between administrations,” says Dr. Dobson.
It will take a few weeks before the whole staff at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center to be vaccinated. “We probably have about 4,000 healthcare workers throughout our healthcare area because that includes not only what people think of that is healthcare workers, but it also includes dental offices, private offices and home health nursing aides…we want to make sure we get all of those individuals vaccinated first and then we can move on to the other phases which include people over 65, those who are in education, transportation, the food service industries and then the general population,” he says.
According to the CDC Panel, the general public won’t be able to get vaccinated until April or late spring. “If everything was accorded to plan, in our part of the country, we should be able to start vaccinating the general public by April. That’s the goal, Hopefully it will be earlier than that but I need to be careful in what I say —but if things go according to plan, by April we will definitely be vaccinating the general public,” says Dr. Dobson.
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