December 15 was another record-setting day with regard to COVID—161 inpatients were being treated for the virus at UAB. It’s also the day when the first shipment of COVID vaccines arrived at in Birmingham at UAB hospital and 15 other locations across the state of Alabama. Find out what this historic moment means for the healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic, and what happens next.
Like a long-awaited friend or relative, the first vaccines arrived at UAB yesterday
When I heard the emotion in Tomie Ann Boackle, UAB’s Associate Chief Pharmacy Officer’s voice, I couldn’t help but be moved at the momentousness of the occasion.
Knowing that the healthcare workers who have been working literally nonstop for ten months may have some protection against this virus is fantastic news.
Even though the rest of us will have to wait a while, this arrival is big news.
The nuts + bolts of the COVID vaccines in Birmingham
- This is the Pfizer SARS-CoV2 vaccine.
- 10,725 doses arrived at UAB Hospital on the morning of December 15, 2020. 👏🏼
- Who gets the first vaccines:
- 7507 hospital personnel, both from UAB and other Jefferson County hospitals
- 1609 clinical personnel
- 1609 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel from the seven-county region in a 40-mile radius
- Vaccines are by appointment only. Scheduling started yesterday for the two doses.
- The systems to prepare and deliver almost 11,000 vaccines to multiple organizations are in motion, and UAB expectx to begin vaccinations on Friday.
- According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the vaccine is here for frontline healthcare workers in hospitals and is being distributed to 15 Alabama hospitals, all selected because of their ultracold storage capabilities. UAB is the only one in the Greater Birmingham Area.
We still have to be vigilant
Just because some front-line healthcare workers will now have the opportunity to have some protection against COVID, we still have to do our part. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten months, you know the drill:
- Wear a mask. The life you save might be your own. Or that of someone you love.
- Wash your hands. Just like you learned in kindergarten.
- Keep your distance. It’s not forever. One day, we’ll all be able to hug our friends and loved ones again. Just not quite yet.
COVID numbers are still surging in Alabama, leaving empty chairs at holiday tables and putting enormous strain on our healthcare system, not to mention the humans who work in it.
That said, we are thrilled that there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.