Premier Health has vaccinated thousands, thousands of doses still unused

Credit: Will Jones

Credit: Will Jones

Premier Health has administered thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses to healthcare workers as of Wednesday. Like other vaccine providers, the hospital system has not met Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s goal of distributing coronavirus vaccines within 24 hours of receiving the doses.

A Premier Health spokesman said Wednesday that the hospital system has administered more than half of the 5,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine from its first shipments received approximately two weeks ago and the majority of what remains from the initial shipment will be administered by the end of this week.

All of the health providers and staff who are eligible in Phase 1A of distribution have been invited to receive the vaccine, said the spokesman.

Dr. Roberto Colón, the associate chief medical officer of Miami Valley Hospital, said Premier Health is “meeting the spirit” of the governor’s goal.

“The goal for all of us is to be able to meet that ultimate desire to be able to get this out to everybody as fast as possible,” said Dr. Roberto Colón, the associate chief medical officer of Miami Valley Hospital. “Looking back, there are things that we can learn from our vaccination process every single week. And we get faster and faster and faster for a process that is brand new.”

Colón pointed out that small subpopulations in Phase 1A initially were prioritized and there were two major holidays recently.

Although there have been reports of many Ohioans who are eligible for the vaccine declining to get it, Colón said “interest in receiving the vaccine remains actually pretty high among healthcare providers, particularly those who are involved in the direct care of patients with COVID.”

As of data released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Health, at least 175,408 Ohioans have received the first dose of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine regimen. That’s about 1.5% of Ohio’s population and about 18% of the 1 million people estimated to be in Phase 1A. Data was not posted Wednesday afternoon due to technical difficulties.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County as of Monday had administered about 2,500 doses from its initial shipment of 3,100 doses received two weeks ago. A spokesman for Kettering Health Network did not respond to an email Wednesday asking how many doses have been administered of the 9,300 doses it has received over the last two weeks.

DeWine has previously urged providers to speed up distribution. He announced Tuesday that the state could move onto vaccinating Phase 1B as early as two weeks from now while finishing up Phase 1A.

Colón said Premier Health is waiting for direction from the state on how hospitals will be involved with vaccinating Phase 1B.

“It is very likely that our system will be involved in some capacity,” he said.

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