LEWISBURG – Evangelical Community Hospital has vaccinated over 1,000 people for COVID-19 so far; that even includes a fair number of non-employed medical workforce not associated with the hospital.
Brian Wolfe is the Vice President of Physician and Clinical Practices at Evangelical, he says the hospital made sure employed and non-employed workers got vaccinated in its first wave, even before the recent Department of Health order, “We approximately had to administer 15% of our population that was served was non-employed folks. So we felt it was a responsibility at Evangelical to help those individuals such as EMS workers and other medical professions that couldn’t otherwise seek the vaccine on their own.”
Wolfe says the hospital reached out to EMS workers in Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, dentists, psychologists and others in the medical workforce who don’t have access to the vaccine from their employers. Wolfe says the hospital has only received the Pfizer vaccine so far, receiving it a month ago and starting the inoculations shortly after. He says the hospital has freezers capable of keeping the vaccine at -112 Fahrenheit.
He notes that the hospital continues to get a lot of questions about when the general public can start getting vaccinated, and the latest guidance announced Friday has helped, “This allowed us to make sure that we are hitting the correct, targed population. So it just has really helped us provide clarification not just for our own institution but for the community as we get questions from folks seeking the vaccine.”
Wolfe adds it’s ‘to be determined’ if the hospital will get the Moderna vaccine, but the state can ‘change the hospitals’ allocation at any time.’
The hospital is also asking for continued patience from the public, “The hard part about the distribution of this is this isn’t like the normal flu vaccine where it just becomes in an easy-to-use vile that’s distributed through your primary care or public work space. It does take a lot of coordinaton, depending on the sensitivity to which vaccination you’re using, to how its administered.”
Wolfe says there have only been a few side effects reported so far, including arm soreness and nausea, but those symptoms have subsided within 12 hours.