Contact: Mindy Warner
Liberty, MO – Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer vaccine, Liberty Hospital received its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine today and has begun to administer them to employed healthcare workers. Liberty Hospital is collaborating with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) to participate in the statewide, coordinated vaccination plan.
Liberty Hospital will administer vaccinations to its own employees and staff, beginning with those who have the most direct exposure to COVID-19. The goal of the initial phase of MDHSS’s statewide vaccination plan is to “reduce the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 within Missouri while reducing healthcare system stress.”
Amy Benson, pharmacy director at Liberty Hospital explained that because vaccine supply will be limited at first, it will be vital to follow the phased approach recommended by experts at both the state and national levels. “We want to ensure that our patient-facing healthcare providers are first to receive the vaccine so they may continue to care for our patients.”
Data have shown the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively. Emergency use approved by the FDA is designed to facilitate the availability of treatment during public health emergencies. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines’ EUAs were granted after rigorous review of scientific evidence and determination that relevant criteria had been met. Both vaccines are being distributed throughout the U.S.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses administered 21 days apart, while the Moderna vaccine requires two doses administered 28 days apart. The vaccines will be free of charge.
According to the MDHSS’s vaccination plan, upon completion of the initial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine(s) to healthcare workers, the focus of vaccination will shift to vulnerable community members and beyond.
Until then, those in the community can do their part to support essential workers by wearing a mask, physically distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and making wise choices about being in groups or out in public.