The first group of staff and physicians at Ascension Via Christi in Manhattan have received the second doses of the coronavirus vaccine, with more planning to get vaccinated Friday.
“We have another clinic, another 70 or some folks who will get their second vaccine and by end of day Monday, we’ll be close to 300 people here in Manhattan and also at our facility in Wamego that will have had their second round of vaccinations,” says Bob Copple, President and CEO of Ascension Via Christi.
Because it takes three weeks between doses for the Pfizer vaccines and four weeks for the Moderna shots, the complete second round will be completed by Feb. 1. Copple echoes other physicians who say vaccines are the only way past the pandemic.
“Our active medical staff, the physicians who have privileges at our hospital, 100 percent of them have been vaccinated, either here or at another hospital,” he said. “If you want some validation, that this is a good thing, we point to our physicians.”
Public access to the vaccines is estimated to be available by spring.
One of the hardest hit communities by the coronavirus pandemic has been senior living communities. Copple says it’s been crucial to get those staff and residents inoculated.
“By next Tuesday, I believe all of our senior care congregate living facilities in our community, in our county, will have had their first round of vaccinations as well,” he said.
Copple adds that this is a huge lift for his medical staff. Nationally, a large portion of patients and fatalities have come from congregate senior living facilities. It’s a key reason why Copple says so many strategies are being deployed to ensure people can get vaccinated.
“In the case of our long-term care facilities, there’s actually a contract with Walgreens to do the vaccinations for the long-term care facilities,” he said.
According to Copple, Walgreens, along with CVS and other parties, have received similar contracts nationally to vaccinate these long-term care communities.