COVID-19 vaccine goes from delivered to administered in just hours at UW Health

MADISON, Wis.– UW Health needed just a few hours to go from delivery to vaccination on Monday.

The first group of frontline workers were vaccinated just after 2:30 p.m.

“(They will) be monitored for a short period of time after the vaccine to make sure there are no adverse effect,” Dr. Matt Anderson said. “Then, they’ll be on there way and get the follow-up one done in about three weeks.”

Anderson is the senior medical director of primary care at UW Health. He said the hospital has a plan to vaccinate all employees who want to be.

“We have determined that staff working in the places with the greatest frequency, duration or intensity of exposure to patients with COVID-19 are the ones who will be given the invitation to schedule first,” Anderson said.

There’s a large number of those frontline workers at UW. Pharmacy Manager Aaron Webb said that’s part of the reason why DHS chose to send nearly 4,000 doses, about 10 percent of it’s initial supply, to the hospital immediately.

“One, because our initial capacity to store the vaccine, as well as, the number of providers that would be allocated the vaccine within group 1A,” Webb said.

The vaccine is stored in ultra cold freezers ranging between -60 and -80 degrees Celsius.

“We have to monitor the temperature continuously through that transportation and storage process,” Webb said.

SSM Health expects to receive its shipment of doses as early as tomorrow.

Unity Point Health expects its shipment to arrive later in the week.