ELKINS, WV – A continuous stream of physicians and front line nurses made their way through the Davis Medical Center (DMC) Employee Health/Infection Control office early Tuesday morning as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Randolph County were administered.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to be part of furthering a data set to show this is a safe and effective vaccine,” said DMC hospitalist Phil Chua, D.O.
Chua was the first at DMC to receive the vaccine, which arrived Monday afternoon. Fourteen vials, containing 70 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, will be administered this week as part of DMC’s Phase 1.
“We are qualifying the distribution of the vaccine based on our vulnerable employees – those on the front line,” said Infection Control Director Whitney Mayle, R.N. “Our physicians, emergency department and nursing unit staff are in high risk areas, and have daily exposure to COVID patients that’s why they are the first to receive the vaccine.”
Anne Banfield, MD, FACOG, also arrived early to get vaccinated. “I join my physician colleagues across the state in support of the vaccine,” she said. “It’s our best hope in the fight against this virus.”
“The vaccine protects our healthcare workers, our patients and those at risk of COVID illness. Everyone must do their part. The vaccine won’t be available to the public until March, 2021, so it’s critical that people continue wearing masks and social distancing.” Banfield is the Director of Women’s Services at DMC.
“I trust the science,” said DMC Emergency Department physician John Logar, MD. “I’ve followed the science, good science, and it says it’s ok so why would I not get in line?”
The vaccine is stored at minus-80 degrees C, and requires a specialized freezer. Davis Medical Center serves as the “hub” for the vaccines allotted to other DHS facilities, Broaddus Hospital and Webster County Memorial Hospital.
Each step of vaccination is carefully documented using the CDC Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). The online tool manages vaccine administration from the time it arrives at distribution site, to when it is administered to the individual. The vaccine is a two-part injection, with part two administered between 17 and 21 days after initial injection.