The Queen’s Medical Center today received its first shipment of 975 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and will begin immunizing front-line workers on Tuesday.
Besides the hospital’s health-care workers with direct exposure to coronavirus patients — including those in the emergency department and intensive care units — Queen’s will immunize employees treating at-risk populations, those with chronic conditions, seniors and eventually “everyone in the organization.”
Queen’s has 5,400 employees at Punchbowl, 1,000 at the West Oahu campus, as well as 350 at North Hawaii Community Hospital on Hawaii island and 200 at Molokai General Hospital. Hospital executives said the vaccine is not mandatory for workers, but highly encouraged.
The vaccine, which must be stored in minus-60 degrees, was shipped in thermo-insulated containers containing dry ice and transferred to the hospital’s ultra-cold freezers.
“This is indeed a momentous day. We have been looking forward to this day for a long time,” Jill Hoggard Green, president and CEO of the Queen’s Health Systems, said in a news release. “This vaccine will give us another layer of protection against this devastating disease. It is important for all of us to remember that as vaccinations get underway, we still need to be vigilant about wearing our masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing our hands.”
For more information on the vaccine, click here or call 691-2619.
Additional shipments of the vaccine are expected in the upcoming weeks.