NCH working on plan to vaccinate the vulnerable

Credit: WINK News

Nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. died from COVID-19 in the first 10 days of 2021.

With the surge in cases, the focus now is on how to get people vaccinated, and one Southwest Florida health care system is working on a plan.

“The COVID-19 positivity rate for the past seven days at NCH stands at 9.97%, with the 14-day rate for Collier County at 9.14%,” said Ilia Echevarria, associate chief nursing officer at NCH Healthcare System in Collier County.

Coronavirus cases are up, but doses of the vaccine aren’t.

“Our doses were limited. We certainly would love to expand and expand our doses to really be able to support the rest of the community, but we had to work with what we have,” Echevarria said.

Over the last 19 days, NCH has administered nearly 70% of its doses, and the hospital doesn’t know when it will get more.

“We’ve administered 3,345 of our 4,900 doses. When we’re getting more vaccine is the big question. We are hoping to hear something this week,” Echeverria said.

NCH is using this time to plan and prioritize. The first round of new doses will give health care workers their second shot and full protection.

After that, it could be your turn.

“Hospitals have the ability to try to choose highly vulnerable people. If we were given additional vaccine allocation, that is probably going to be one of our efforts to prioritize them,” said Dr. David Lindner, director of NCH’s COVID response team.

“As we get more vaccine in, we have been talking looking at that age group – 65 and under with extreme vulnerabilities to COVID-19,” Echeverria said.

Until then, “People are going to have to be extremely patient because it all depends on the allocation of vaccine,” Lindner said.

NCH says it will notify the public when more doses of the vaccine become available.

RESOURCE: WINK News is working by the minute on a daily basis to bring our coverage areas in Southwest Florida the latest COVID-19 vaccine information from the counties you live in.

Visit our COVID-19 vaccine schedules and information for SWFL story for rolling vaccine updates.

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