The first shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived at four hospitals within the Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System on Thursday, including St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Muskegon.
Mercy Health Muskegon received 1,950 doses while the other three hospitals received 975.
The health system began to administer the vaccine to health care personnel who qualify under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as those in direct COVID-19 patient care, including COVID units, the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Unit.
Employees who work in those departments can volunteer to get the vaccine.
The first Ann Arbor employee to receive the vaccine was ICU nurse Jennie Bowerson.
“I am amazed and deeply grateful to the colleagues across our health system who have worked tirelessly to operationalize the vaccine distribution at our hospitals,” Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, chief clinical officer at Trinity Health Michigan said in a statement.
“We will continue to vaccinate as many employees as possible each week. We are confident in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and strongly encourage everyone ages 16 and older to be vaccinated as the vaccine becomes more widely available.”
The health system anticipates weekly deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine once it becomes available.
All hospitals within Trinity Health Michigan have ultra-cold freezers capable of storing the vaccines.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.stjoeshealth.org/vaccine.