Health care workers at Providence hospital to get COVID-19 vaccine starting Saturday

Health care workers at Providence hospital to get COVID-19 vaccine starting Saturday

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — Medical workers in Snohomish County who treated America’s first confirmed COVID-19 patients will get vaccinated, starting Saturday.

On Thursday, Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett received 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

County health officials said the vaccines will be administered to workers who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus and then will be distributed based on work location and role.

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On Friday morning, five medical workers were vaccinated as part of a practice run, according to a news release.

“Providence caregivers have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic longer than anyone in the country,” said Dr. Jay Cook, Chief Medical Officer at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. “The arrival of this vaccine is great news for our caregivers and our communities, and is the first step in the long recovery process from this pandemic. We couldn’t be more excited to provide this vaccine to those on the frontlines.”

“The depth and breadth of the suffering around the world that this has wrought was hard to wrap my head around,” Cook said.

More shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine are expected by the end of December and an additional 183,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine are also expected by the end of the month, the Washington State Department of Health told the county. It all assumes that the Food and Drug Administration approve the Moderna vaccine for emergency-use authorization.

“Not only is it coming at a critical time for our healthcare system, but it’s something positive for the community to look forward to and a relief for us here at the Health District,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District.

Health officials said the first group in the county includes up to 16,000 high-risk workers in health care settings, high-risk first responders and employees at long-term care and other adult care facilities.

“I will be giving vaccines. I will happily, joyously and enthusiastically give vaccines as much as I can,” Cook said.

County health officials said many people will get the vaccine through their employer or facility, but the Health District is working to finalize a voucher program where smaller agency employees can get vaccinated by a partner participating in the program. Details are expected to be made available by the end of December.