NCH prepares to receive new COVID-19 vaccines

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Vaccine manufacture. Credit: WINK News

NCH Healthcare System in Naples has begun preparations for the reception and storage of future COVID-19 vaccines from any of the companies currently testing them.

The news of the Moderna vaccine’s effectiveness has seemed encouraging to many people, and normal coolers can transport the vaccine itself, whereas the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures. Just this week, NCH installed similar deep freezers in anticipation of the vaccine becoming available by the end of the year.

There is one at each NCH hospital; the chief nursing officer says they were ordered three months ago. Because staff kept abreast of research and knew that the Pfizer vaccine would need to be stored below negative 60 degrees Celsius, NCH even reached out to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Department of Health to find out how they can be approved as a distributor.

In the meantime, they are fine-tuning how to add the vaccine to your overall medical record.

“I think back to when we did our free COVID-19 drive-thru testing with the nasal swabs,” said Jonathan Kling, the NHC chief nursing officer. “Attaching it to a medical record in a drive-through process with physician’s orders and posting the results on the portal and sending it to the doctor, it was very challenging.”

To address that issue, new software has been installed so staff can upload the vaccine to your medical records and keep track of when you need to come back for the second dos.e

Under the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine would be free to you.
However you may have to pay administration fees.

And while a vaccine may be ready by the end of 2020, another looming question is who will get it first?

It’s up to the Centers for Disease Control and the vaccine manufacturers to create the guidelines, not the hospitals which would receive the vaccines.

As it stands, the first people to access a vaccine will be those on the front lines: health care workers first, then other essential workers, especially those who come into regular contact with the public. People aged 65 or older and those with high-risk medical conditions will also be given priority.

Once we see doses of the vaccine start to increase, it may be distributed throughout jails and to people who work in public transit. Younger, healthier adults will be last in line.

This is all happening quickly, which means the plan could change. Either way, NCH is ready.

“This will be a long process for the distribution and administration of the vaccine because of the phases, and until we really know what the allocation amounts are going to be and the willingness of the general public to take the vaccine, we don’t know,” Kling said.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.