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Memorial Hermann among first to receive and administer COVID-19 Vaccine to Frontline Healthcare Workers

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On Wednesday, December 15, 2020 Memorial Hermann Health System received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and immediately began administering the vaccine to its frontline healthcare workers.

Watch the video of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Langan receive the COIVD-19 vaccine below:

Memorial Hermann expects to receive 16,575 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first allotment, more than any other health system in the Greater Houston area. Moments after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfzier COVID-19 vaccine, the health system opened up online registration for frontline employees to begin signing up to receive the vaccine, with the first available time slots going quickly.

“Today is truly a remarkable day full of optimism for the near future,” said David Callender, MD, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “We are so thankful to be included in the first allocation of this vaccine. Together, our employees and physicians have treated more COVID-19 positive patients in our hospitals than anyone else in the Greater Houston area, and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.”

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To date, Memorial Hermann has treated more than 12,000 COVID-19 positive patients in its hospitals, more than any other health system in the Greater Houston area. In partnership with UTHealth, the system was first in Texas to perform a double lung transplant on a patient whose lungs were severely damaged by COVID-19. In addition, Memorial Hermann and UTHealth are participating in over 30 clinical trials dedicated to COVID-19.

After the vaccine has been distributed to essential workers and vulnerable populations identified by the state of Texas, the vaccine will be more widely available. It is uncertain exactly when this will occur – timing will depend on how quickly the Pfizer vaccine can be produced and distributed, and whether or not other vaccines, including Moderna’s candidate, are authorized quickly by the FDA. As soon as doses of the vaccine are available for widespread use, Memorial Hermann plans to make them available for its patients and members of the community.

“We’re all very hopeful that this will be the turning point we’ve been waiting for since this pandemic began. However, now is not the time to let our guard down,” Dr. Callender said. “Our fight with COVID-19 is not over yet, but at least there is finally an end in sight.”

Dr. Callender stressed that, although the vaccine is here and others are on the way, it will take months to vaccinate everyone who wants to receive it. Memorial Hermann shared this is why it is important to continue practicing the three “W’s”: wearing a mask, watching social distance and washing hands frequently.

To learn more about Memorial Hermann’s response and resources related to COVID-19, visit the system’s Coronavirus Resource page.

Source: Memorial Hermann

Article updated on 12/21/20 to add video.

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