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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: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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A little bit of disturbed air moves through our area on Thursday evening. This could give us a few scattered showers. Beyond that small chance, things look good in the weather forecast through our Saturday.
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