With the surge of COVID-19 patients in the Great Lakes Bay Region; McLaren Bay Region President & CEO, Clarence Sevillian, said the hospital is preparing to receive the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines from drug makers Pfizer and Moderna are completing clinical trials and have demonstrated effectiveness rates of 90 to 95%.
Sevillian says McLaren has been directly connected to the Operation Warp-Speed task force in Washington D.C. and has been told to expect final FDA approval for emergency use sometime between December 11th and 18th.
McLaren Bay Region began preparation measures by purchasing an ultra-low temperature freezer which can store the Pfizer vaccine at the required temperature of -70°C or -94°F; significantly colder than the standard for most vaccines, which is usually 2° to 8°C or 36° to 46° F.
The healthcare provider is working on a plan with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and Walgreens to start vaccinating staff immediately upon arrival, but Sevillian adds that due to limited quantities of the vaccine it may take several weeks to months before it will be able to everyone.
Individuals are recommended by McLaren to receive the vaccine as soon as it is available to them in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The holding-freezer arrived onsite earlier this week and can hold 60,000 vaccine doses.