Video: Michigan Medicine vaccinates first employees for COVID-19

December 15, 2020  //  FOUND IN: News,

Michigan Medicine began vaccinating people against COVID-19 Monday with an initial group of five front-line workers.

The first employee vaccinated, Johnnie Peoples, is a registered nurse with Survival Flight, Michigan Medicine’s critical care transport program. The others who received vaccinations Monday are a registered nurse in the Emergency Department, a physician in Infectious Diseases, a physician in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and a resident physician in Internal Medicine.

Monday’s initial shipment included 1,950 doses of the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech vaccine. Michigan Medicine expects to vaccinate about 40 employees beginning Tuesday and ramping up the volume further as early as next week, depending on supply.

“This is a great day! Over the many debilitating months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have longed for the initiation of an effective vaccination program. We are absolutely delighted that we now begin vaccination for the faculty and staff of Michigan Medicine who have cared for so many during this pandemic.” said Marschall S. Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine, dean of the U-M Medical School and executive vice president for medical affairs.

“However, it will take time to get to everyone who wants a vaccine. While distribution continues, it’s vital for all of us to continue to social distance and wear masks when going out in public.”

This milestone marks the culmination of months of hard work, including the collaboration of dozens of U-M experts reviewing safety and efficacy data and coordinating a robust vaccine distribution program.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to get us to this point: immunizing the first health care workers in our system,” said U-M President Mark Schlissel. “This is a historic moment that reflects outstanding expertise and collaboration.”

Because the academic medical center includes approximately 28,000 employees and initial supply is limited, Michigan Medicine is coordinating a phased approach of priority groups to offer the vaccine based on state and federal guidelines.

Michigan Medicine is following the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization from the federal government, and will be administering the two-shot vaccine as tested in the clinical trial.

Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Taskforce is identifying the first groups to be vaccinated based on guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). MDHHS follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a CDC advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States.

The CDC and ACIP have defined populations for different vaccination phases:  

  • Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.  
  • Phase 1B includes workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.  
  • Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
  • Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.