Scottsbluff, Neb. (RELEASE from Regional West Medical Center) December 28, 2020 — Regional West has received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and is activating their plan to start vaccinating front line physicians and caregivers.
“Regional West is following the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services definition of direct patient care and exposure to infectious material to build our tiered roll-out of the vaccine to physicians and staff,” said Regional West Chief Quality Officer Margo Ferguson.
Nationwide, the vaccine is being distributed in waves. The first wave includes three phases (a, b, and c). Phase A distribution has gone to healthcare and long term care facilities; Phase B includes first responders, the education sector, food and agriculture, corrections staff, and utilities and transportation; while Phase C will include people who are 65 years of age and older, vulnerable populations, and congregate living, including nursing homes. Those people in the first three phases of wave one to receive the vaccine will be contacted.
Future waves of distribution have not been announced; however, vaccine distribution for the general public is anticipated in early spring 2021.
The Moderna vaccine will be given in two shots, spaced 28 days apart. Through trials, the vaccines has proven to be 94% effective. That means of those vaccinated for the trials, only 6% developed COVID-19 when exposed to the virus and their symptoms were mild. Patients will see the highest efficacy seven days after the second shot.
“The vaccine is the first key step in slowing the spread, but we are still encouraging everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, regular hand washing, wearing a mask in public, and self-monitoring for symptoms,” said Paulette Schnell, Regional West Community Health director and Scotts Bluff County Health director.