MHS Says First Round of COVID Vaccinations Will Complete Within Weeks

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 30, 2020 at 3:16pm

Passavant Area Hospital along with the entire Memorial Health System will complete the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations in the coming weeks.

Memorial Health Systems announced today the network of five central Illinois hospitals received several thousand doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines this week, and expects to complete the first round of doses within the next two to three weeks.

Chuck Callahan, president of the MHS hospital group and president and CEO of Memorial Medical Center says MHS has received over 6,200 doses in total since December 16th when the hospital system began administering the first doses to it’s colleagues.

About 80 percent of the doses are Moderna, with the remaining doses being Pfizer-BioNTech, which was the first of the two vaccines to receive emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

Through Tuesday, Dec. 29, 3,089 individuals across five regional campuses have been vaccinated. Officials say the health system will continue offering vaccination clinics for colleagues this week at several locations.

As of Dec. 29th, 524 doses of the vaccine had been administered at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, with 1,298 at Memorial Medical Center, 866 at Decatur Memorial Hospital, 260 at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln and 141 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

Passavant Area Hospital CEO Dr. Scott Boston was the first in line to get the vaccine in Jacksonville on December 16th. Boston then turned around and served the remaining staff at Passavant, administering the vaccine to his colleagues.

Approximately 70 percent of MHS colleagues have indicated they wish to receive the vaccination, which is administered in two doses. MHS officials say they are encouraging, but not requiring their colleagues to be vaccinated.

Callahan says no colleagues have suffered serious side effects and only a few have experienced minor transitory muscle aches or fevers.

MHS is working with local health departments in the five counties in which its hospitals are located to distribute the vaccines. Officials say individuals were prioritized to receive the vaccination based on the proximity of work-related exposure to patients who are or may be COVID-19 positive. Clinical staff on COVID-19 units, the Emergency Department and intensive care units received first priority access to the vaccine.