MISSOULA — Providence St. Patrick Hospital began vaccinating caregivers considered “high-risk” due to work related exposure on Thursday afternoon.
The first batch of Pfizer vaccinations was given to healthcare providers, nurses, environmental services workers, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and others that come into close contact with COVID patients.
“This is a step toward protecting myself from the virus and spreading it to my family or community,” said emergency physician Daniel Pierce. “This pandemic has been devastating, and now I am hopeful that we will see the end of this sooner.”
In total they received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Before staff could receive it, they had to go through training and make sure to set up a special vaccination clinic to get it delivered.
Joyce Dombrouski, Chief Executive of Providence Montana said, “Thank you to our vaccination team for their heroic efforts—both internally, through Providence, and the state of Montana. They put this work together quickly in a safe, organized manner under difficult circumstances, and they have worked so hard. It is an amazing Christmas gift.”
Vaccinations will continue with this group of employees once they receive the first dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose to prevent symptoms with 95% effectiveness, according to the company.
“As long as we continue to receive scheduled weekly vaccine allotments, we hope to have our entire health care workforce inoculated by the end of February 2021,” said Jani Huston, Providence Medical Group COO/Executive Director of Nursing, Providence Montana.