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: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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