ROWLETT, TX – Dec. 15, 2020 – Baylor Scott and White – Lake Pointe shared the following the message today regarding the availability of the COVID 19 vaccine.
Dear Community Partners,
For months, our best defense against COVID-19 has been mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing. We are now on the cusp of adding a new and important tool to our toolbox—a vaccine.
In the coming days, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to issue emergency use authorization (EUA) status for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Once EUA is granted by the FDA, we expect to receive our first shipment within 24-48 hours.
Our Systemwide vaccination taskforce has been working tirelessly to ensure we are prepared for this exciting milestone. To help determine the distribution plan for our workforce (including hospital staff, physicians and contractors), we sent a brief questionnaire to approximately 35,000 eligible individuals last week to gauge initial interest in receiving the vaccine. The response has been tremendous, and we are working to begin vaccination as soon as possible.
While the vaccine is voluntary at this time, our clinical experts strongly encourage all eligible healthcare workers to receive a vaccine—we trust the FDA, the CDC and the science behind the development of these significant medical advancements.
Here are a few important vaccine updates as of Dec. 15:
• Governor Abbott shared that Texas will receive 1.6 million doses in December. The allocation we receive is determined by the state and will be delivered to us on a week-by-week basis.
• Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state has determined the order in which people are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The first group, “Phase 1a,” includes hospital-based healthcare workers, as well as employees and residents of assisted-living facilities. Other groups will become eligible in the coming months once more doses are available.
• We have requested enough doses to cover our healthcare workers who meet the criteria of “Phase 1a.” While not all doses will be delivered at once, the most important thing to note is that all healthcare workers who are interested in receiving the vaccine will be able to do so.
• Pending EUA from the FDA, the state has determined Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple (which includes McLane Children’s and the Continuing Care Hospital) will receive our System’s first shipment as early as today, Tuesday, December 15 (with vaccinations beginning on tomorrow), followed by seven other BSW facilities that were included in our week one allocation. Just because a facility was not included in the week one allocation does not mean it will not be included in future allocations.
• Based on the responses we are receiving from the COVID-19 questionnaire, we are working with our employee health team to prioritize those at highest risk first (including those who serve in COVID units). Prior to getting vaccinated, individuals will receive information about side effects and allergens so they can make the best decision for their health.
• Watch a video roundtable on the vaccine featuring CMO Alex Arroliga, MD, CNO Janice Walker, DHA, RN, and VP of Pharmacy Tammy Cohen, PharmD.
Prioritizing self-care for our teams
Even with promising COVID vaccines on the horizon, the rising number of cases is discouraging, and the ongoing physical and emotional demands of the virus can be exhausting. To help our employees deal with the fatigue of the pandemic, we launched a new self-care site on our intranet with a number of resources to help staff practice and prioritize their health and well-being.
The site includes insights from BSW experts on things like the importance of taking personal time off, getting a good night’s rest, eating a healthy diet, receiving spiritual support and more. In addition, we introduced a new concept called “Take 5,” designed to empower employees to speak up if they need to step away for a few moments to recenter and recharge.
At Baylor Scott & White, we are in it together. This is a critical time in medicine and the resilience of our staff in continuing the fight against COVID-19 has been inspiring.
Thank you for all you have done to support our staff and communities.
Donas Cole, FACHE
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe
6800 Scenic Drive | Rowlett, Texas 75088
(972) 520-8003 Office | (214) 592-5279 Cell
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