McLaren Bay Region Begins Administering COVID-19 Vaccine to Health Care Workers

BAY CITY, MICH – McLaren Bay Region began the process of immunizing its health care workers against COVID-19 on Thursday, December 17, 2020.

“Since earlier this year, our health care team has been courageously battling this virus and providing excellent care to our community,” said Clarence Sevillian, McLaren Bay Region President & CEO. “With today’s deployment of the vaccine, I am excited to say it is now our turn to take the fight to COVID-19.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, which began being distributed to hospitals over the last few days. McLaren Bay Region received 975 initial doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and is expecting to receive additional quantities over the next few weeks.

"As a frontline health care worker, I want to make sure that I am protected so I can continue to help the community," said Heath Lamb, Registered Nurse in McLaren Bay Region's Critical Care Unit, and one of the first to receive the vaccine. "I need to be able to remain healthy so I can come to work every day to help those who need it the most."

“Today we are celebrating this important milestone in the pandemic, but it will likely take many months to get everyone across the country vaccinated,” said Dr. Norman Chapin, Chief Medical Officer at McLaren Bay Region. “It is more important now than ever to remain vigilant and continue to protect yourself and your family; including wearing a mask, maintaining distance, and limiting your holiday gatherings to only those you live with.”

McLaren Health Care hospitals and clinics surveyed the interest of team members, medical staff, and contract workers in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, nearly 80% of respondents across the McLaren system indicated they are willing to receive the COVID-19 now or in the future.

Using the survey data and vaccination information, McLaren Bay Region created a plan to immunize its health care work force who are among the highest priority group. It is expected to take several weeks for the vaccine to be administered to health care employees based on the availability of vaccine doses.

McLaren Health Care and Walgreens have also launched an innovative partnership. By partnering with Walgreens, McLaren can streamline and expedite vaccinations, providing more vaccines in a shorter amount of time.

“Walgreens is very proud to collaborate with McLaren on this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the true heroes who are on the frontlines of battling COVID-19. This is an incredibly important step in an unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic,” said John Standley, president, Walgreens.