First Responders Will Be The First To Receive Covid Vaccine
The first shipment of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is expected to arrive at Berkshire Medical Center Today.
According to Michael Leary, communications director for BHS, which owns Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, as well as other medical facilities across the county said that the shipment will include 1,950 doses for Berkshire Health Systems,
"Our plan is to begin administration of the vaccine across the system on Thursday morning and into next week, prioritizing the staff of the Emergency Departments at BMC and North Adams Campus and Fairview, BHS Urgent Care, ICU, and COVID-19 units, This will include not just clinicians, but other employees who are dedicated to these areas, such as housekeepers, dietary, security, etc."
The Berkshire Eagle reports that Leary said the company also is working to vaccinate providers and staff at physician practices around the Berkshires. A survey has been distributed to the company's approximately 4,200 employees, gauging their interest in receiving the vaccine. Those who chose to wait will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine at a later time.
"We have plans to use the 1,950 doses over the next two weeks, possibly within the next week if that works out so that we can then be in line for the next delivery, whenever that may happen."
Noting that the company must document usage before being scheduled for further shipments.
Massachusetts ordered its initial round of 59,475 doses of Pfizer vaccines they received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday from the federal government on Dec. 4.
The next 40,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines "will be allocated to the Federal Pharmacy Program to begin vaccinating staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, rest homes and assisted living residences," Baker's office said last week.
Massachusetts officials expect to receive 300,000 first doses of the two-shot vaccine by the end of the month.
Frontline health care workers, including doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit, emergency department and patient floors that treat COVID-19 patients, will be among the first to receive the doses.
Employees from environmental and support services, and other positions that work in areas with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, also will be vaccinated first Police, firefighters, emergency responders and prison inmates also are among those who will be targeted in the state's first phase of vaccine distribution.
This comes at a time when as of Monday two more deaths were reported, that brought Berkshire County’s coronavirus death toll to 103, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count up 14, to 2,266, the state Department of Public Health
The DPH said 37 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 11,135. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 are 11,388. Confirmed cases rose 3,572, to 283,146. According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 187,221 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.
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