NMMC administering first round of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline workers

The hospital began administering the vaccine to frontline workers Thursday.

Posted: Dec 17, 2020 11:41 AM
Updated: Dec 18, 2020 9:15 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) is administering its first round of COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline workers.

Thursday’s recipients work directly with coronavirus patients.

NMMC workers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17, 2020.

NMMC workers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17, 2020.

Dr. Jeremy Blanchard said approximately 120 to 200 workers will be offered the vaccine.

NMMC received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday.

RelatedNMMC receives first shipment of COVID vaccine Tuesday

Infectious disease physician, Mindy Prewitt, was the first health professional in Lee County to get the vaccine. A nurse gave her the vaccine into her left arm. Afterwards, Prewitt got a sticker as thank you and a list of side effects she may experience.

Nurses split up into four rooms and gave the vaccine to employees one at a time. Blanchard said they will all have to get a second dose after 21 days.

According to the hospital, all employees will not be asked to take the vaccine until adequate supplies of the vaccine become available. Until then, employees will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine based on a prioritized risk-based system, with frontline COVID-19 caregivers being in the first tier to be offered the vaccine. If the evidence continues to demonstrate that it is safe and effective, the hospital will strongly encourage its staff to take the vaccine to help keep themselves and patients and families safe from the virus.

The hospital is following a risk-based hierarchy to implement vaccination to its employees.

  • Tier 1: Those giving direct care to COVID+ patients (i.e. serve on the COVID unit)
  • Tier 2: Those who do not provide direct care on a daily basis to COVID+ patients but still have a potential for exposure (i.e. staff with brief direct encounters with patients)
  • Tier 3: Those who do not provide direct patient care but work in health care (i.e. staff in support roles serving in areas with no patient contact)

Moderna's vaccine still has to be authorized first. The FDA's advisory committee meets Thursday to discuss emergency use authorization for it.

If the Moderna vaccine is authorized, the hospital system plans to distribute the Moderna vaccine to its community hospitals because many smaller facilities do not have the ability to properly store the Pfizer vaccine, which requires extremely cold temperatures.

Related - What we know about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine and how it differs from Pfizer's

Reporter Alexis Jones spoke with those health workers Thursday about the vaccine. Watch her interviews in the video above.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
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