Hospital receives access to ultra-low temperature freezer through Hillsdale College, prepares to administer vaccinations early next week
HILLSDALE, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has informed Hillsdale Hospital that it is approved to receive, store and administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Originally, the Pfizer vaccine was not expected to be provided to the hospital due to the need for ultra-low temperature freezer storage. Thanks to Hillsdale College, the hospital now has access to such storage and has received limited doses.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses. The first dose helps the immune system recognize the virus and the second strengthens the immune system response. Both doses are needed for protection against the virus, and will be given as an initial dose and then a second dose 28 days later. Hillsdale Hospital anticipates that the first dose of the vaccine will begin to be administered at the beginning of next week to individuals classified as Tier 1a in the system established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MDHHS.
Phase 1 (Beginning now)
- Tier 1a: Health care providers and staff and long-term care staff and patients.
- Tier 1b: All essential workers to include front line EMS, fire, police, teachers, store employees providing food and needed goods to the public, food and agriculture workers to keep the food chain intact.
- Tier 1c: Adults 65 and older and adults with severe underlying medical conditions.
Phase 2 (Estimated to begin in 6 months)
- General public guidelines are a work in progress and have changed several times. This phase will occur after the majority of Phase 1 individuals are vaccinated. The estimated time frame for this phase is being looked at, but has been suggested to be 6 months from now. Allocation and vaccination facilities will still be determined by MDHHS.
Phase 3 (No estimated start date at this time)
- General vaccination (similar to getting annual flu shots). In this phase, allocations of vaccinations will no longer be needed and vaccinating facilities will order needed supply. Local physician offices, clinics and pharmacies will be able to vaccinate at this point.
At this time, the hospital is preparing protocols and procedures for safe vaccine administration in partnership with the National Guard which has been providing support for vaccinations around the nation since they started shipping out last week. This process is separate from the process that will provide vaccination to long-term care patients and staff, as those vaccines are being provided and administered by Walgreens and CVS statewide. Those individuals are also expected to be vaccinated next week.
Communication will continue to be updated to keep Hillsdale’s community, staff and providers informed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.hillsdalehospital.com.