Park City Hospital receives shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine
All caregivers could receive a dose by Saturday
Christmas came early to some Park City Hospital staffers who began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday afternoon.
The small hospital employs approximately 500 people, according to a spokesperson, and officials plan to make vaccinations available for all of them in the coming days.
“There’s a palpable celebratory feeling in the room,” spokesperson Holly Nelson wrote in an email to The Park record. “The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for caregivers, but all will be offered the vaccine.”
Intermountain officials announced that the Park City Hospital and the Heber Valley Hospital were the first two rural hospitals in the state to receive COVID vaccinations.
Nelson said around midday Wednesday that the hospital received doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna. She added that the hospital planned to immunize approximately 150 employees later that day and would continue to offer vaccines to all caregivers at the hospital over the following three days.
The hospital was prioritizing frontline workers who care for COVID-19 patients, Nelson added.
The Moderna-manufactured vaccine is the second to receive emergency use authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration after a vaccine manufactured by Pfizer was approved earlier this month.
Both shots require a booster dose weeks later; for the Moderna vaccine, that second shot is scheduled 28 days after the first, while the second Pfizer shot should be administered 21 days following the first dose.
Chris Crowley, Summit County’s public health emergency preparedness coordinator, has said that recipients should receive peak immunity from COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose. For Park City Hospital employees who received the shot on Wednesday, that would come on Feb. 3.
Crowley anticipates the county will begin receiving vaccines the week of Dec. 28 and will begin administering them to essential workers shortly thereafter, a group including first responders and teachers.
He anticipates the county will begin a mass vaccination campaign this spring.
Crowley has indicated that he expects the county to receive more shipments of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna because shipments come in a smaller size than does the Pfizer vaccine — 100 doses vs. 1,000.
He has also said that the county has an ultra-cold freezer that could be used to store the Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA indicated in a prepared statement that there is not enough data to know how long the vaccine is effective and whether it prevents transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a prepared statement said that pregnant people may choose to be vaccinated, but that no data exists about its safety.
“While studies have not yet been done, based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant,” the CDC statement says. “mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and therefore cannot give someone COVID-19.”
The CDC also noted that there is no data about the vaccine’s safety for people who are breastfeeding or babies.
The FDA said that the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a clinical trial with over 30,000 participants.
The administration cautioned vaccine recipients to expect side effects including pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea, vomiting and fever.
The FDA said that those side effects could last several days and that more people experienced those side effects after the second dose of the vaccine.
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