Bladen County Hospital ready for first batch of COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Dec. 7, 2020 at 10:15 PM EST
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ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (WECT) - Bladen County Hospital (BCH) applied to receive early shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Monday, BCH was selected by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as one of the 11 early-ship facilities.

Before BCH was even selected, hospital leadership invested in an ultra-cold freezer to be able to store the Pfizer vaccine once it is approved.

“With the ultra-cold freezer storage, we’re able to...we are able to keep the vaccine up to six months in a deep freezer,” said Amanda Wright, executive corporate director of pharmacy services Cape Fear Valley Bladen County Hospital. “But it definitely positions us in a much better place to be able to receive and allocate that out.”

In the coming days, work will begin to get people signed up to receive the first doses that arrive.

“We will let our own healthcare personnel know the order to get them signed up,” said Wright. “It’s going to go very quickly. You’re not looking at weeks before we start and end. Once we get it, we’ll start very quickly pushing those healthcare workers through.”

BCH administrators do not know exactly how many doses will arrive in the first early shipment but do know who will be able to get it first.

“Emergency personnel, COVID patients, nurses, doctors that care for them, EMS, and anyone that comes in direct contact with those patients will be where we start.”

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