Officials with Penn Highlands Healthcare said they expect to get 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at each of three of their facilities slated for the first round of distribution in Pennsylvania: Penn Highlands DuBois, Elk and Huntingdon.
Andrew Kurtz, system director for retail pharmacy services at Penn Highlands, said about 240 staff in the emergency unit, ICU, cardiovascular ICU and lung center will be the first to receive the vaccine Friday.
“Our leaders are working with the managers across the health system to make sure the employees with the most frequent patient contact will receive the vaccine,” Kurtz said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
He said the employees include physicians.
Kurtz said starting with those groups Friday will “give us the opportunity to finetune our vaccination workflow on a smaller scale.”
Large vaccine clinics for more employees will start next week.
The state Department of Health announced Monday that 87 hospitals across the state will be getting 97,500 of the Pfizer vaccines in the first round of distribution. This does not include Philadelphia.
Mount Nittany Health in Centre County said it received a shipment of vaccines Wednesday.
Penn Highlands has six hospitals in central Pennsylvania and nursing homes. Kurtz said nursing home vaccinations will be handled by a federal program through CVS later in the month.
Kurtz said they expect follow-up shipments soon and hope to get the Moderna vaccine when it becomes available.
Both vaccines require a booster shot — Pfizer’s 21 days after the first dose and Moderna’s 28 days later.