After weeks of anticipation, Springhill Medical Center welcomed the arrival of the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccination.
The shipment was part of the strategic Pfizer vaccine mass distribution implemented across the nation, including four hospitals in Mobile. The vaccine was approved by the FDA for Emergency Use on Dec. 11.
In preparation of this day, Springhill had purchased the subzero freezer necessary to house the vaccine several weeks earlier. The vaccine has to be stored at the required temperature of minus-70 degrees celsius.
Once Pfizer’s Safety Data Sheet on the COVID-19 vaccine was released, Springhill promptly orchestrated multiple town hall meetings to educate Springhill employees about the vaccine.
“Thorough preparations for the arrival of this vaccination and ensuring that our employees were well informed were two areas of focus critically important to our success,” said Springhill Medical Center President/CEO Jeff St. Clair.
Leading up to the arrival of the vaccine, Springhill allocated space on the fourth floor of the Heart Center Building and established vaccine clinics. The process of taking the vaccine from the minus-70 degree celsius to the point of administering it to an individual is both time-sensitive and involves multiple, very detailed steps.
“We’ve established a workflow that enables recipients to complete the vaccination process in a safe and efficient manner,” explained Paul Read, RN, MSN, Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive. “The participants have been enthusiastic and very appreciative to be able to receive this vaccination.”
Springhill Medical’s frontline medical professionals who take care of COVID-19 patients on a daily basis, along with hospital physicians and clinical staff were among the first to receive the vaccination. Additional clinical professionals in outlying communities near Mobile per the guidelines from Alabama Department of Public Health for first vaccines administered at Springhill, as well.
Springhill Medical Center is a 263-bed acute care hospital accredited by TJC. Since 1975, Springhill has grown and expanded its services in the southwest Alabama market while maintaining more nurses to each patient for a personal approach. The medical center provides full surgical capabilities including open-heart and robotic surgery, as well as complete diagnostic capabilities. Today, SMC includes the hospital, a unique and comprehensive heart center, senior residence, sleep medicine center, cancer center, orthopaedic surgery center, ENT outpatient surgery center, wound care and hyperbaric center, and an emergency department staffed by all board-certified emergency medicine physicians.