COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
Lawrence, KS – As we begin to anticipate the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to share where LMH Health is at in this process. In collaboration with Lawrence Douglas County Public Health Department (LDCPH), LMH Health will be rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine in a phased approach as guided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
LMH Health will serve as the primary Phase 1A vaccination site for Douglas County. Per KDHE, Phase 1A candidates include “healthcare personnel who are likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19 or infectious materials and are unable to work from home.” This phase also includes front-line healthcare providers, EMTs and paramedics, as well as law enforcement and fire fighters who participate in medical response.
Dr. Christina Crowley, Director of Pharmacy at LMH Health, shared that “vaccine supply will be limited at first, therefore it is imperative to follow the phased approach as outlined by state and national experts. The Phase 1A candidates are critical to maintaining the functionality of the health care system that has been overwhelmed by the virus.”
Pfizer and Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, issued press releases indicating strong vaccine effectiveness. Pfizer has applied for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Moderna will shortly follow. The EUA is a mechanism to facilitate the availability of treatment during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reviews the EUA to determine whether the relevant criteria are met, including all scientific evidence before approval.
Pfizer’s vaccine will likely be the first vaccine available. It requires two doses, 21 days apart and will be free of charge. LMH Health expects to vaccinate an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people in Phase 1A. LMH Health and LDCPH are eager to complete Phase 1A, so the focus may be shifted to the vulnerable community members and beyond.
“The COVID-19 pandemic created a sense of urgency that prompted experts and manufacturers to collaborate in ways never seen before,” Dr. Crowley said. “With the world working toward one common goal – development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine – we are finally one step closer to finding a ‘new normal.’ I cannot wait for the vaccine to be available for all, so my newborn son may finally experience endless hugs from friends and family. Until the majority are vaccinated, please continue to wash your hands, socially distance, wear your mask and stay home when you are sick. Thank you for doing your part in the fight against COVID-19.”