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Hospitals Receive Covid Vaccine Shipments, Prepare To Administer Shots

Courtesy of Gilead

Hospitals in Washington and Idaho began to receive shipments of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine on Monday.

They include the Providence hospitals in Spokane, overseen by Elaine Couture.

“I don’t know if the vaccine is actually here right at the moment, but it is expected in Spokane at Sacred Heart today," she said. "Our plans are to start the vaccination process with those people that are the high risk for our health care workers beginning on Monday.”

Other hospitals will begin immunizing people later this week. For example, Confluence Health in Chelan County, plans to start giving shots on Thursday.

At MultiCare’s facilities in Pierce County, health care workers are receiving training today [Monday] on the specifics of administering this vaccine. MultiCare’s safety and nursing officer, June Alteras, says pharmacists are learning how to mix the doses and nurses are hearing about the specifics of administering them.

“Everyone is to be watched for 15 minutes after they receive the vaccine. For people who have had reactions in the past, they’re to have 30-minute observation period of time. Our team is all ready to go but so far it’s all been on paper and so we’re actually going to practice it today," Alteras said, with a goal of beginning vaccinations on Friday.

Cassie Sauer from the Washington State Hospital Association says one of the challenges will be keeping the Pfizer vaccine cold enough to be effective. Many rural hospitals, she says, don’t have the necessary cold storage facilities.