McLaren Bay Region Preparing to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

BAY CITY, MICH – With the surge of COVID-19 patients in the Great Lakes Bay Region, McLaren Bay Region President & CEO, Clarence Sevillian said the hospital is preparing to receive the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, developed as a part of Operation Warp Speed, are completing clinical trials and have demonstrated effectiveness rates of 90 – 95%. McLaren Health Care is directly connected to the Operation Warp Speed task force in Washington D.C. and, as of November 24, have been told to expect final FDA approval for emergency use to occur sometime between December 11 – 18.

McLaren has been working on the logistics of obtaining, storing, and deploying the vaccine when it arrives in the coming weeks. To prepare, McLaren Bay Region purchased an ultra-low temperature freezer which can store the Pfizer vaccine at the required temperature of minus-70 Celsius (minus-94 Fahrenheit). The ultracold temperature is significantly below the standard for most vaccines of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit). The freezer arrived onsite earlier this week and can hold 60,000 doses of the vaccine.

“We are prepared to accept deliveries at any time. We are working on a plan with McLaren Heath Care, MDHHS, and Walgreens to start vaccinating staff who are interested, immediately upon arrival. Due to limited quantities of the vaccine, it may take several weeks to months before we will be able to vaccinate everyone,” stated Sevillian. “The healthcare workforce across the country is the highest priority group for getting access to the vaccine. We need to protect our healthcare workers so they can continue to provide care for the patient population and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

It’s important to know that while this vaccine development process was accelerated due to the severity of this pandemic, the vaccine technology and the associated testing have been extremely robust. As stated by Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., FDA Commissioner, and Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, “We are committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. We will not jeopardize the public’s trust in our science-based, independent review of these or any vaccines. There’s too much at stake.”

McLaren Bay Region urges individuals to receive the vaccine to help stop the spread of COVID-19.