Steele Memorial Receives First Shipment of Covid-19 Vaccine
December 14, 2020
On December 14, 2020 Eastern Idaho Public Health (EIPH) received Idaho’s first shipment of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. A total of 975 vaccines were distributed in District 7 with Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center receiving 425 doses, Idaho Falls Community Hospital 125 doses, Madison Memorial Hospital 115 doses, Mountain View Hospital 220 doses, Steele Memorial Medical Center 30 doses, and Teton Valley Hospital 60 doses.
On December 16, 2020 Steele Memorial Medical Center (SMMC) administered the first 10 of 30 doses to designated medical staff. The remaining 20 doses were administered on December 17. As additional vaccines become available, SMMC is positioned to safely store the Pfizer vaccine by proactively purchasing and installing the ultra low freezer.
Nationwide 556,208 vaccines have been administered and 4,348 doses administered in Idaho. The Pfizer vaccine emergency approval is for persons ages 16+ and the Moderna emergency approval is for persons ages 18+. Both vaccines require a 2nd dose with Pfizer 21 days apart and Moderna 28 days apart.
The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) has advised state and local entities with the prioritization of vaccines while they are in limited supply. The following vaccine prioritization ranking is based on federal guidance and CVAC input. It is subject to change as new information is available. (See table attached)
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Covid-19 Vaccine:
1. Is there a benefit to getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination can help keep you from getting COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they are shown to be safe and effective in reducing your chances of getting COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are difficult to maintain for long periods of time. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
2. I’ve already had COVID-19, so do I need the vaccine?
People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated but may want to consider waiting to allow others to get vaccinated first.
3. Can the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19? No
4. Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive on viral tests? No
5. Who is paying for COVID-19 vaccine and administration?
The U.S. Government purchased millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine doses through Operation Warp Speed, as part of the effort to ensure vaccine would be available as soon as clinical trials and safety and efficacy data indicated it would be effective and safe to administer to Americans. This means that no one in the U.S. should have out of pocket cost for vaccine. Vaccination providers may charge an administration fee, which can be reimbursed by a patient’s public or private health insurance or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
6. Do I need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing after I've received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue with the behaviors necessary to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and limiting the number of people in group gatherings.
7. Is the vaccine safe?
Many people are excited to receive the vaccine and do their part to return to a more normal way of life. However, people have many questions about the type of vaccine available and the speed with which the government, scientific, and pharmaceutical communities were able to come together to produce the vaccine. Common questions are addressed by the facts below: FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and become infected. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection against the virus. FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests. FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated. FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19.
8. FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA.
mRNA stands for ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
“Steele Memorial Medical Center and staff are very excited to be some of the first recipients of the coronavirus vaccine. We have a long ways to go for everyone to be vaccinated but this is a start. I would like to wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season,” says Jeanie Gentry, CEO.
The above information was obtained from the EIPH and the State of Idaho website. Visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ and https://eiph.idaho.gov for up-to-date information.