CFVH Covid-19 Update - 12/31/20
As of yesterday evening, CFVH will have administered 88 Covid-19 vaccinations to healthcare workers and long term care residents. This includes not only individuals employed at Clark Fork Valley Hospital, but healthcare providers from the community at large. We believe we will meet the Montana State goal of having the first vaccinations for healthcare workers completed by January 15th, and long term care residents by February 26th.
It is no small task to make this happen. Lisa Eberhardt, our Chief Nursing Officer and infection control nurse, deserves kudos for her tireless work to get the needed pieces in place. She has redeployed staff, used space in non-typical ways, and assured safety procedures are in place in case of any adverse reaction. All this has been done while maintaining our usual operations and with an eye towards the much bigger task ahead when we will have vaccine for the general community. This will come in waves, with the prioritization of recipients developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ( ACIP, part of the CDC). The approximate timeline for phase 1B is January 15 – March 15, 2021. This group will include persons 75 years and older, American Indians and other people of color who may be at elevated risk of Covid complications, and Frontline Essential Workers such as first responders, education and childcare workers, grocery store workers, and critical infrastructure workers as a few examples If you would like to review the ACIP recommendations and where you might fall in the phases you may use this link (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm695152e2.htm?s_cid=mm695152e2_w).
As we approach each new phase and are made aware of timing and quantity of vaccine arrival, we will send out community communication regarding how to obtain the vaccination. Though plans are not complete for each phase you can currently anticipate the need to schedule a specific time. However, we are not currently making appointments or maintaining lists of individuals that wish to have the vaccine. You can also anticipate the need to be monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine and you will need to have an appointment for the second dose 4 weeks later. I wish there was more concrete information to share but it is simply not yet available.
As we look to the start of a new calendar year, I wish you each a Happy New Year. May we find the way to get this pandemic behind us.
Gregory S. Hanson, MD
Clark Fork Valley Hospital