COVID-19 vaccine coming at perfect time for exhausted frontline workers

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thousands of Kansans could get the COVID-19 vaccine in a matter of weeks.
Those on the frontlines will have access to it first.

Infectious Disease Specialist Doctor Tom Moore with Wesley Medical Center says the hospital is excited about the arrival of the vaccine.

With the expected surge of cases over the holidays, he says the timing couldn’t be better.

“This is the long-awaited help that we’ve been waiting for.”

As hospital ICU beds are in limited supply, it’s all hands on deck.

Dr. Moore says with many of those hands, now eligible for a vaccine it could have a ripple effect of relief.

“If we can get everybody vaccinated and the vaccine is at least 95% effective as it says, then we can generally we can do a general immunization for the community. That’s gonna go a long way to reducing the transmission of the disease. Right now it’s out of control,” he said.

Ascension Via Christi says they are working out details for that first round.

“We are actively preparing to offer and administer the vaccine to our associates just as soon as it becomes available. Such an effort requires significant logistical planning as well as adding temporary staff to help administer it, so just as we did with our overall pandemic response plan, we are preparing for multiple scenarios. This will allow us to respond quickly and efficiently once we receive the vaccine, which we will be offering to associates on a voluntary basis,” said Dr. Sam Antonios, chief clinical officer.

Dr. Garold Minns, Sedgwick County Health Officer, believes the vaccine can help hospitals better serve patients.

“If we can get all the health care providers and other workers in those COVID units immunized hopefully, they won’t get it. So, we don’t have to have them quarantine or isolated and that will keep our workforce up to hopefully 100%,” Dr. Minns said.

Dr. Minns is hopeful workers will trust the vaccine.

“I can assure you the FDA is not going to approve a vaccine if they don’t feel like all the boxes have been checked and that it’s truly safe and effective.”

Dr. Moore says the vaccine is a hopeful sign but that does not mean Kansans can ease up on precautions just yet.

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