The Inexperienced River District Well being Division hopes to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine “quickly,” based on Public Well being Director Clay Horton.
The primary precedence, he stated, will likely be getting important care employees vaccinated, corresponding to emergency administration service employees and different well being care employees with direct affected person contact. Horton stated he hopes to obtain vaccinations by subsequent week.
“I’m longing for subsequent week, however we haven’t obtained affirmation but and we have now seven counties and I don’t know if we’ll get all seven counties or if we’ll simply get some counties,” Horton stated. “We’re hoping to be notified of that throughout the subsequent day or so,” he stated on Thursday.
As soon as vaccinations are obtained, Horton stated GRDHD may have the capability to retailer and keep the vaccine and plan to manage it to recipients on-site at well being division areas.
Whereas GRDHD doesn’t have entry to an ultra-low freezer, which is required to take care of the Pfizer vaccine, based on Horton, he stated the well being division is supplied to obtain the Moderna vaccine, which could be saved as much as six months in a standard freezer and has a 30-day shelf-life as soon as it’s thawed.
“We definitely have the potential of dealing with and storing and sustaining the Moderna vaccine … the necessities for it are similar to vaccines that we already routinely deal with,” he stated. “It shouldn’t be a problem in any respect by way of the best way we’re geared up and the best way our employees’s skilled.”
Horton stated the well being division doesn’t know the way a lot of the vaccine it’s going to obtain. He stated, nonetheless, GRDHD will likely be centered on administering it to these at highest danger first and getting as many individuals vaccinated as rapidly as attainable.
Horton stated he hopes to have the vaccine accessible for most people by the spring.
“It’s going to be a gradual course of in some senses … as a result of we all know that lots of people are going to wish to take it instantly, however we’re simply asking all people to be affected person. We’re going to do that a rapidly as we are able to and as quickly as we get the vaccine that’s accessible,” he stated.
So far as the present outlook for COVID-19 within the area, Horton stated folks nonetheless should be vigilant over the vacation season and as eating places open again up, to take well being and security suggestions severely, socially distance and proceed sporting masks in public.
“We’re seeing some reduction within the present incident price than we had been experiencing by November and that first week of December,” he stated. “That actually is a sign that every one of this stuff that we’ve been doing so far as group mitigation efforts, all of the sacrifices that folks have been making … it’s had an impression.”