Officials at Baptist Health Corbin announced Tuesday that the Pfizer COVID–19 vaccine has arrived on site.
The hospital was one of 11 across Kentucky that Gov. Andy Beshear announced would be recipients of the initial shipment as part of the effort to immunize frontline healthcare workers.
The shipment contained 975 doses of the vaccine, which will be offered to the employees, with vaccinations to begin today “No one will be forced to take it,” said Debbie Hardin, Marketing Director at the hospital.
With 1,174 employees at the hospital, Hardin said frontline workers will have priority for the vaccine.
“We know the vaccine is vitally important to getting back to normal, and we are thankful to be a part of this effort to eradicate COVID-19,” said Anthony Powers, President of Baptist Health Corbin. “We stand ready to play a key role in this crucial initiative as we begin vaccinating our front-line health workers and our community as more supplies of vaccine become available over the next several months.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for individuals, age 16 and older, on Dec. 11. According to information provided by Pfizer, in testing of the vaccine, it demonstrated a 95 percent efficacy rate.
Approximately 44,000 volunteers are involved in the testing process.
Beshear previously announced that Kentucky would receive 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The first 26,000 would go to residents and staff in long term care facilities.
An additional 12,000 would go to frontline healthcare workers.
In addition to Baptist Health Corbin, Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Pikeville Medical Center, Baptist Health Madisonville, Baptist Hospital in Louisville, St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, Baptist Health Lexington, Norton Hospital in Louisville, Medical Center at Bowling Green, and University of Louisville Hospital would receive initial shipments.
A second COVID–19 vaccine, developed by Moderna, is expected to begin arriving by the end of December.
Beshear said Kentucky is expected to receive 76,700 doses of that vaccine. “This evil virus has taken over 2,000 Kentuckians, but now we know that victory is in sight,” said Beshear who was on hand at the University of Louisville Hospital on Monday as the first vaccines were administered.