This is exciting news. Dr. Wallace and I have taken the first steps to getting the vaccine from the Methodist Healthcare System. I’m not sure when that will be. There are additional logistical hurdles for administering the vaccine beyond the temperature issues. Security is one of them. They need to guard the vaccine to make sure no one steals it. Because two patient with a history of serious reactions to vaccines had serious reactions to this one, they will require recipients to stay around for 20 minutes after receiving it. This requires additional space to distance patients. It will probably be given in one of their free standing emergency rooms. Also, they have to rotate hospital staff to make sure that they are not short staffed if someone develops fever. Hospital staff can’t work if they have a fever. One report suggested that this occurs in 4% of patients, but may be higher on the second injection.
We start training next week in recording and administering the vaccine, but I think it will be several months before we obtain the vaccine. If it is sooner, we will be prepared. Here is a suggested timeline from the Wall Street Journal:
DISTRIBUTION TARGET 20 MILLION PEOPLE
FIRST TO GET THE VACCINE
21 MILLION (U.S. POPULATION)
Long-term care facility residents
DISTRIBUTION TARGET 30 MILLION PEOPLE
AT LEAST 50 MILLION PEOPLE
Adults with high-risk medical conditions
Adults age 65+ years
Notes: Based on the timing of first dose. Each person is given two doses, three to four weeks apart. Numbers for demographic groups are based on U.S. populations of each group. Because of overlap between groups, the number of adults over 65 and those with high-risk conditions in line for vaccinations is smaller than their combined populations, and some would be vaccinated earlier.
Sources: Department of Health and Human Services (vaccination goals); CDC (prioritized groups)
Erik Brynildsen, Todd Lindeman, Josh Ulick and Taylor Umlauf/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Where do you stand in getting the vaccine? This is an interesting calculator from the New York Times: