Mercy Hospital Joplin begins covid-19 vaccination of frontline workers

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Mercy Hospital Joplin started giving covid-19 vaccines early this week. Frontline workers are first. The hospital actually gave about 200 vaccinations Thursday to frontline workers who are directly exposed to the virus.

Amanda Sanders, Registered Nurse, said, “Everyone that comes in the door, you see hope, we’re really ready to get this next step, it’s exciting.”

William Boles, ER Paramedic, said, “I just don’t see any negatives to this we’re trying to get ahead of this pandemic and we’re not doing it like we are so definitely they come out with a vaccine I think we need to take it and run with it and not have fear of it or be scared of it.”

The state of Missouri gave Mercy Hospital Joplin 3,900 doses of Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine to give to frontline workers.

“I’m excited to get our coworkers vaccinated so hopefully we can get ahead of this a bit more, It’s been a lot of work trying to treat the public there’s a lot of people that are very sick,” said Sanders.

The state has reassured the hospital as they get close to running out–they’ll send more. The vaccine wasn’t just sent in the mail–the vaccines have to kept at nearly negative 100 degree’s Fahrenheit or negative 70 degrees Celsius.

Sarah Boyd, Pharmacy Director, said, “When it left Pfizer it was tracking the temperature the entire time as well as the location of the vaccine and so we could tell when it arrived to us whether or not that negative 70 degree temperature had been maintained through transport.”

Doctors and nurses went to what’s being called an infusion center–it’s where the hospital is giving the shots. From 11 to noon high exposure staff were able to get the shot.

“Feel real good this morning. No, no problems, no symptoms, or anything this morning. I just felt great from the get-go,” said Boles.

“I was was looking forward to it, I know it’s kinda the first of the first, but I say it’s a positive thing until proven otherwise.”

Boles went through a process to be able to get the vaccine.

“They sent us all a email out and told us how to get on MyMercy account and set up your appointment time and it’s pretty easy we got on their and answered couple of questionnaires and basically about what we did this morning if you had any symptoms. If you’ve been positive with covid the last 14 days. Stuff in this nature. And then you set up a time.”

“I think it’s important that we vaccinate our coworkers that are in the frontline the first–the first ones first and then you know my time will be after that,” said Sanders.

High risk patients will also get the vaccine, but no word on when the general public will be able to get it. After they got the shot, they had to wait about 15 minutes before they could leave just in case they had any side affects.

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