LMH Health Receives First Round of COVID-19 Vaccines
With a sense of calmness but excitement, Shannon Fletcher, LMH Health Respiratory Care manager and a licensed registered Respiratory Therapist, received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today.
“It means that we’re moving closer in the right direction,” She said. “It means that I’m going to have some level of extra protection when I care for COVID-19 positive patients and not worry about taking this home to my family. More than anything, it means hope.”
Fletcher acknowledged the hard work of the LMH Health staff to get ready for the mass vaccination process and learning how to operate on a level we have never experience before.
“Our pharmacists have done a spectacular job communicating the safety of this vaccine,” she said. “There have been an unprecedented level of deaths because of this virus. It is like nothing we have seen for years and years. COVID-19 has taken such an emotional and physical toll on my team personally and I think this vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel for us.”
LMH Health received nearly 800 doses of vaccine this afternoon. The first round of vaccinations were provided to essential healthcare workers identified for high COVID-19 exposure risk. Counsel and advice on who should receive the first doses of the vaccine also came from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Lawrence Douglas County Public Health (LDCPH).
“We are confident in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine,” said Russ Johnson, President and CEO of LMH Health. “We will continue to work with our partners in the community to ensure distribution will be efficient, even as we await many key details from the state regarding next steps.”
Additional vaccine shipments are expected in the coming weeks. Other pharmaceutical manufacturers, like Moderna, are in process to receive their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the United State Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"I think this is our first step to all of us finding a new normal," said Christina Crowley, the director of Pharmacy at LMH Health.
LMH Health continues to strongly encourage members of the community to adhere to COVID protective measures: wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain a six-foot social distance and limit social gatherings.
“We have a long way to go, but we have come so far,” Johnson said.
At this time, LMH Health only has information about vaccinating essential healthcare workers and first responders in the community. We do not have specific dates nor details yet when the vaccine will be available to other persons. LMH Health does not maintain a list for persons to sign up for the vaccine.
For the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccination process, please check out our website – lmh.org – follow our social media channels through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We also make announcements through the Lawrence Journal World and other communication outlets like our Community Update and Patient eNewsletter (sign up here).
Frequently asked questions about the vaccine and videos from local healthcare professionals sharing why they’re getting the vaccine can be viewed here.