• 66°

COVID vaccine coming to King’s Daughters

The employees at King’s Daughters Medical Center could receive a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.

As the country heads into the 10th month of the coronavirus pandemic, a light at the end of the tunnel has appeared in the form of a vaccine. For the employees at KDMC, that vaccine could be accessible as soon as the week of Christmas.

Due to needing extremely cold temperatures, the hospital will not receive Pfizer’s vaccine. Instead, they will be receiving Moderna.

“KDMC will not be getting Pfizer,” Chief Human Resources and Regulatory Officer Celine Craig said. “A lot of the rural hospitals in Mississippi won’t be getting it because of how it needs to be stored.”

The Moderna vaccine has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration but is currently under consideration. The FDA will make a decision Thursday on whether to grant the vaccine emergency use authorization.

If the Moderna vaccine is approved, KDMC will receive 400 doses, and these will be shipped directly to the hospital. Unlike Moderna, the Pfizer vaccine is being shipped to the Mississippi Department of Health and then being distributed.

The hospital has followed MSDH’s priority access plan and employees of KDMC who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients will receive the vaccine first.

“Everyone here would be essential,” Craig said.

Anyone who is employed at the hospital itself or is employed at a satellite office would have access to the vaccine.

Craig said the Moderna vaccine is a shot that is given in two phases. The first shot would be given and the second shot would be given three weeks after the first.

The hospital isn’t requiring employees to take the vaccine, but encourages them to. Employees were required to make a request on if they wanted the vaccine.

“You are not required,” Craig said. “We are putting it out there and are asking our staff to take it.”

The hospital will have a place of distribution for employees to come and receive their vaccine, much like how they would receive their yearly flu shot.

Craig hopes the vaccine will help hospital employees build up antibodies to the virus.

“We need to be able to have our people at work,” Craig said. “I hope we can have the vaccine in our community soon so we can put a stop to this illness. I would encourage the community to take the vaccine once it becomes available to them.”