A Winona Health doctor was the first to receive a vaccine to protect frontline workers against the coronavirus.
In a live broadcast Friday, Dr. Joseph Kaiya accepted the vaccine followed by a round of applause.
Winona Health received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine this week. After undergoing specific training about the vaccine, the hospital said it will administer it to prioritized staff and long-term care residents.
“We’ve had a team working on the rollout plans, and, although there is a long way to go before we can consider the pandemic over, this is a big step in the right direction,” Rachelle Schultz, Winona Health president/CEO said.
According to the hospital, Winona Health has two ultra-cold freezers and has been designated a hub for vaccine shipments. The organization will initially receive a shipment of 975 initial doses of the vaccine. Of those, 775 will be used for healthcare workers and long-term care residents at Winona Health. The remaining 200 will go to the healthcare staff in Wabasha.
“Staff directly caring for COVID-19 positive patients will be given first priority to receive the vaccine,” Schultz said. “The vaccine is not mandatory. One of the reasons we held the informational employee forums about the vaccine was to give staff as much information as possible so they could make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine.”
The vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart.