HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Hartford Hospital on Monday morning.
The shipment arrived around 10:45 a.m., and it couldn’t have been better timed.
Jeffrey A. Flaks, President and CEO of HHC, said that by the end of Monday, the system will have administered all of the Pfizer vaccines it received last week.
The vaccines were put in the arms of frontline workers like nurses, doctors, custodians and security guards only about an hour after arrival at the hospital.
The first shot in the arm went to Mandy Delgado, a COVID critical care nurse at Hartford Hospital. Exhausted, she has had to report patient deaths to their families.
“They come in needing more oxygen and are able to talk, progressively getting worse than actually dying and families not being there,” said Delgado.
But this is a day of excitement and, they’re saying, “a shot of hope” to getting back to some sort of normalcy in the near future.
Hartford HealthCare (HHC) is the first health system in the state to receive a shipment of the Moderna vaccine. Of the 63,300 doses of medicine expected to come in statewide, 9,000 of those will be coming to HHC.
They are ramping up clinics to get these private medical groups also inoculated and that will include a clinic at the convention center.
“We will administer this week 10,000 vaccines,” Flaks said. “And our health system is building itself to deliver a high volume of vaccines not only across our health system for all of our frontline healthcare workers but, in fact, we are building ourselves and pivoting to be ready to do this for our community en mass.”
The Moderna vaccine does require a second dose in 28 days. Pfizer’s second dose is required after 21 days.
Eric Arlia the Director of Pharmacy Systems HHC said, “Our goal is to have the Moderna vaccine at all of the acute care facilities and Hartford HealthCare medical groups by end of day today.”
Last week, the state received 31,200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Another 24,375 are expected this week. It must remain in a deep freezer.
Mandy Delgado has this holiday wish, “I wish and I hope others will follow me.”
By New Year’s Day, officials expect 120,000 frontline workers and nursing home patients will have gotten their COVID-19 shots. Hartford HealthCare’s clinic at the convention center will only be for frontline workers. They will be running the clinics beginning next week. At first for three days a week and then up to seven days as they have a vaccine to give.
The general public will not line up for shots until after May.