Baptist Memorial Hospital-Carroll County began administering Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to its employees on Wednesday, Dec. 23. RN Cathy Whitehead was the first to receive the vaccination at 2 p.m., followed by Dr. Lee Carter.
The employees who received the vaccine Wednesday are part of the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program, which includes health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
Baptist Carroll County received 33 doses of the vaccine on Wednesday and will continue administering them to employees during the next few weeks. The vaccine is given in two doses four weeks apart, so employees who received their first dose of the vaccine last week will be scheduled to receive their second dose in about a month.
“This is a great day for our hospital and for our community,” said Baptist Carroll County CEO and Administrator Susan Breeden. Our team has worked tirelessly during the past nine months, caring for COVID patients. They have been these patients’ families, and they have given so much of themselves, not just as clinical professionals, but as human beings. I think I speak for all of them when I say we are relieved to see the beginning of the end of this pandemic.”
The Moderna vaccine can be distributed more widely because it can be stored at normal freezer temperatures, unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It also comes in much smaller batches, making it easier for hospitals in less populated areas to use quickly.
In large clinical trials, both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were about 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19, and Moderna’s vaccine offered persuasive evidence that it could prevent severe cases of the disease, which is crucial for keeping people out of the hospital and reducing deaths.
Baptist Carroll County is one of 12 Baptist Memorial Health Care hospitals to receive the Moderna vaccine. Five Baptist Memorial entities received the Pfizer vaccine during the week of Dec. 14.