ROCKFORD, Illinois, January 6, 2020 – Today, Mercyhealth received its second shipment from the Winnebago County Health Department of the COVID–19 Pfizer vaccine. Health care workers who received their first vaccine in December will receive their second dose from this shipment starting today. First vaccine began at 2 pm and will continue for the next few days.
On December 16, Mercyhealth was one of the first health systems in Rockford to administer an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. Mercyhealth began administering its shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to staff at 2 pm at both its Rockton and Riverside Campuses. In just two and half days, all allocated doses, including the unexpected extra doses, were successfully administered to staff. The Pfizer vaccine vials were intended to hold five doses but extra vaccine remained in each vial. Manufacturers typically overfill vaccine vials to safeguard against potential waste as part of the process with vaccinators removing vaccine from the vials.
Pfizer reports its vaccine is 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among people who had no evidence of prior infection. Due to limited allocation, and based on federal and state guidance, the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine was given to health care workers.
While things look promising, it is important to know there are several steps to move through before a vaccine is available to the public. It is critical that we all take steps to stay healthy and continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. You can help us stop the spread and reduce pressure on hospitals by wearing a mask, not gathering with people outside your household, avoid contact with people who are sick, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds, practice good hand hygiene, and if you have symptoms, stay home.
To learn more, visit mercyhealthsystem.org.