(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The first shipment of the coronavirus vaccines arrived at Mosaic Life Care Monday morning, equipping the local hospital with two weapons in their arsenal to fight the deadly disease.
Mosaic's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Davin Turner, said Monday was a day health care workers have been waiting for for what feels like a lifetime.
“This is a wonderful day," said Dr. Turner,“I’m finally getting to stand up here and announce something we've all been waiting for.”
For the first time in nine months, frontline health care workers at Mosaic are walking into work with a feeling of hope.
“You can actually feel the energy as you’re walking in the building as people were finding out the vaccine had arrived,” said Dr. Turner.
At 7 a.m., 1,500 doses of Moderna and 975 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines came through Mosaic's doors. A joyous sight for those working on the front lines of the pandemic since day one as the virus has taken nearly 5,000 lives in Missouri.
“Just here in our system, 149 people have passed away due to COVID,” said Dr. Turner.
40 of Mosaic's frontline workers will begin rolling up their sleeves Tuesday, starting with five nurses. Wednesday, the hospital will vaccinate over 100 staff members. Then, Dr. Turner said that's when the real work begins.
“Our expectation is that we will be doing a couple hundred a day, at least,” said Dr. Turner.
Dr. Turner said because the vaccine does have some side effects which can be more moderate, the hospital is stair stepping the immunizations to ensure not all of one group will receive the shot on the same day.
The local hospital will administer all of Pfizer's doses before dipping into Moderna. Dr. Turner said that's because Pfizer received the emergency use authorization first and as a way to not mix up the two vaccines because "the two don't mix the same."
Someone who receives their first initial COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, must receive Pfizer as the second dose and vice versa.
Mosaic will halt COVID-19 vaccinations after Wednesday for the holiday and will restart immunizations after Christmas. At that point, health care workers can begin signing up for their slot to roll up their sleeve and take the vaccine.
Dr. Turner said they have two weeks to administer the first shipment of vaccines and will receive the same amount of vaccines for the second doses to administer for the two-dose vaccine.
The St. Joseph location is holding all of the vaccines doses and will deliver the shipments to their system hospitals in Albany and Maryville Tuesday.