WACO, TX— Frontline workers at Ascension Providence Hospital in Waco received their first rounds of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Walker encouraged everyone to get the vaccine when it becomes available.
“In particular, we know that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted high-risk, marginalized individuals, and people of color, and it’s important that we do everything possible to demonstrate that the approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and work to ensure all people ultimately have access to them,” said Walker.
Among the staff who received the vaccine was ICU doctors and nurses, certified nursing assistants, respiratory therapist and housekeeping and facilities management staff, according to a press release from the hospital.
“We are taking extra steps to ensure these frontline staff have access to the vaccine, and we are working to eliminate social and economic barriers to ensure that they can receive the vaccine as a prioritized group,” said President of Ascension Providence Philip Patterson. “Vaccination is one of the most effective strategies to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.”
Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Preparedness Coordinator Stephanie Alvey said Wednesday the vaccine would not be released to the general public until the summer.
Vaccines are currently being given to healthcare staff according to the current plan from The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
McLennan County will have a COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Coalition to iron out what agencies will be providing vaccines in addition to local hospitals.