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Memorial Healthcare in Owosso prepares for COVID-19 vaccine storage and administration

Hospitals are doing everything possible to prepare to store and handle the COVID-19 vaccines
Memorial Healthcare in Owosso prepares for COVID-19 vaccine storage and administration
Memorial Healthcare in Owosso prepares for COVID-19 vaccine storage and administration(WJRT)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 9:39 PM EST
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OWOSSO, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/09/2020) - In the United State, the FDA is expected to sign off on the Pfizer vaccine, possibly as soon as late Thursday, and the nation’s first doses could ship as early as Friday.

Right now, hospitals across the country are doing everything possible to prepare to store and handle the vaccines.

That includes Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, who will be the exclusive administrator of the vaccine for Shiawassee County.

”We’re ready!” Megan Smith said. Smith is the Associate Vice President of Quality & Safety at Memorial Healthcare.

“We’ve purchased an ultra-cold freezer that will be here before the vaccine is set to arrive, so that we can have that proper storage that’s needed to safely store that vaccine until we administer it,” Smith said.

That’s for the Pfizer vaccine that has be stored at a -90 degrees Fahrenheit. The Moderna vaccine doesn’t require such a cold temperature.

Memorial Healthcare is in a unique position as one of just a few dozen hospitals in Michigan that can store and administer both vaccines.

“We have a great team here that’s working on this and working together and quickly to make sure that we’re ready for whichever vaccine we receive,” Smith said.

Smith says tentatively, they expect the Pfizer vaccine to arrive around December 15, and they could begin administering the vaccine at 8:00 a.m. the next day.

At this point, they don’t know how many doses will be arriving, but first priority will be Memorial Healthcare employees, other healthcare workers, and long-term care residents.

“We’re very excited! We feel like this is maybe a light at the end of the tunnel for us as we continue to prepare, it’s exciting to see how many staff, how many of our employees are open and willing to get the vaccine and understand how truly important it is to help continue to fight this pandemic,” Smith said.

Smith says just because the vaccine is heading here, doesn’t mean we ditch our masks the next day and go back to normal.

Heading into 2021, it’ll still be crucial to follow the three W’s: wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands.

To visit Memorial Healthcare’s website, click here.

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