At least two local healthcare organizations are in the process of vaccinating front-line workers this week.
Providence Health and Services has already administered COVID-19 vaccinations to some 2,000 healthcare workers across southwest Washington. They project 2,500 more vaccinations by the week’s end. That includes many of those at Thurston County’s largest hospital: Providence St. Peter Hospital.
Valley View Health Center, with clinics in Olympia and Tenino, has received an allotment of 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with injections for Phase 1a people to start tomorrow in Tenino.
Additionally, Providence, through partnerships with local agencies has provided vaccines to 500 first responders in Thurston and Lewis counties, said Chris Thomas, marking and communications manager for Providence’s Southwest Washington region.
Providence began administering the Pfizer vaccine — one of two COVID vaccines approved for use in the U.S. — to its healthcare workers and some high-risk individuals. A statement from Providence dated Dec. 18 states that people eligible for vaccination at this time include healthcare workers who work directly with COVID-19 patients, healthcare workers who might come into contact with COVID-19 patients and first responders.
Providence is working with Thurston and Lewis County officials to determine a timeline for future vaccinating. Thomas, in an email to The JOLT, said Providence is following the state Department of Health’s approach of vaccinating in phases. Washington state is currently in phase 1 of the plan, while other phases are currently in development.
According to the state plan, Phase 1a involves vaccinating healthcare workers, first responders and residents and staff members of nursing homes or other living facilities with an elderly population.
Local Providence healthcare workers were trained to administer the vaccine were trained on Dec. 18, which included them receiving the vaccine themselves, according to a press release.
“I’m excited to receive this vaccine. This will improve my own safety so I can continue to care for our patients and community … and decrease the risk of me brining the virus home,” said Elizabeth Vadnais, an Emergency Department nurse at Providence St. Peter Hospital, in the press release. “I signed up to be a vaccinator to help all of our awesome caregivers feel safe, and so they can continue to care for the sick and injured.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Thurston County has recorded 4,654 COVID cases and 53 deaths.
Community healthcare providers who wish to receive the vaccine under Phase 1a rules should inform Thurston County Health using the form on the following website:
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