Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/07/2021 --On January 6, Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City started administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline caregivers in the next step to slow the spread of coronavirus in the community and protect caregivers.
"We are now celebrating another milestone," said Tamara Sheffield, MD, medical director of community Health and prevention for Intermountain Healthcare. "Three weeks ago, we started with our frontline caregivers that were most at risk of exposure, and under the direction of the Utah Department of Health have continued to expand those we are able to vaccinate."
Dr. Sheffield reported, at that point, Intermountain has vaccinated about 25,000 caregivers across the state of Utah. Intermountain, in partnership with public and private partners, is continuing its efforts to expedite vaccinations.
"It is important to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint," Dr. Sheffield added. "It's really important that individuals get both doses of the vaccine. The effectiveness of the vaccine really changes with the second dose. The 95 percent effectiveness of the second dose is a tenfold increase in protection compared to just receiving one dose."
"Even now, we're still seeing numbers go up with people getting infected with COVID," said Monte Roberts, an Intermountain LDS Hospital ICU nurse. "It's our hope that in the near future the lines will cross even more, and we'll see a decrease in the number of people admitted to the hospital as more and more people are vaccinated."
"During those hard days that are so frequent, I do not feel quite so doomed," said Sophie Woodbury, a nurse at Intermountain LDS Hospital. "There's an end to this pandemic and because I'm vaccinated, I'm part of this fight for the pandemic to end."
"I'd really like to be able to take this mask off. I'd like to have people see the smile that I have behind this mask because of the work that's been done by our scientists and our physicians and our nurses, and all the people who've helped in pushing this forward and that we can actually beat this and move forward together," added Woodbury.
Dr. Sheffield said Intermountain will continue to work with state and other public and private partners to identify how to best meet Utah's vaccination needs.
"I want to express gratitude to the teams that have pulled this together. We have had individuals working seven days a week, even through the holidays. We also have very good partnerships with others in the community. It is good people, trying to do good work," she said.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.
For basic COVID vaccination information, please see: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/covid-19/2020/12/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-covid-19-vaccine-right-now
Links for video and photography assets for media use:
January 6 Zoom News Conference in English: https://securedrop.intermountain.net/securedrop/public.php?service=files&t=c042fd799f2f3f9fe40bc3405a296160
January 6 Zoom News Conference in Spanish: https://securedrop.intermountain.net/securedrop/public.php?service=files&t=11b7d4b62dbc24d284ed11e03ef81838
Link to vaccine b-roll and photos: https://securedrop.intermountain.net/securedrop/public.php?service=files&t=a54ea804d9fd26f52a80fa4197df5ada
Dr. Tamara Sheffield
Medical Director for Intermountain Healthcare Community Health and Prevention
Monte Roberts, RN
Intermountain LDS Hospital ICU Nurse
Sophie Woodbury, RN
Intermountain LDS Hospital Surgical Nurse
Dr. Michelle Matheu
Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician (Spanish)