BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s a waiting game for the vaccine. On Thursday, an FDA advisory panel endorsed the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
Now hospital systems are preparing for the potential distribution of the vaccine if it receives FDA emergency use authorization approval.READ MORE: Dan + Shay Win Duo Of The Year At 56th Academy Of Country Music Awards
“Right now, there are about 185 people in the hospital and as of this morning, 54 have COVID,” said. Dr. David Rottinghaus.
Rottinghaus is the chief medical officer at Butler Memorial Hospital. He told KDKA that community spread is at an all-time high, and this second wave is bringing a new set of challenges.
“The challenge now is the sheer number of people that are getting infected and then getting sick and sick enough to require hospitalization,” Rottinghaus said.READ MORE: Three Shot, One Killed At Party In Knoxville
But the hospital is preparing for the Pfizer vaccine.
“Now that the advisory committee has recommended that the vaccine, at least the first, receive EUA, we don’t know when we will get it distributed, but we have a pretty good idea of how much we will get. And we think it will come next week,” Rottinghaus said.
He said the hospital will receive 975 doses of the vaccine to be distributed to frontline workers. In total, there are about 3,000 employees in the health system.
“We know some people will decline. So our priority is to find those people who most fit the bill of bedside provider or caregiver or someone who is most susceptible to picking up the virus based on their work activities,” Rottinghaus said.MORE NEWS: Restored Plane That Led D-Day Bombings Will Visit Dayton Ohio
As for why the hospital only received fewer than 1,000 doses, Rottinghaus said his guess is that it is based on the number of employees believed to be frontline workers.