Where we are with the COVID vaccine
Now that we’re well into vaccinating Asante employees against COVID-19, I wanted to give you an update on our progress and dispel some rumors.
To date we have vaccinated more than 2,000 Asante employees. The logistics behind the vaccine are complicated and we look daily at how we can maximize the number of vaccinations given each day.
Currently, Asante is offering the Pfizer Bio-n-Tech Vaccine. It requires ultracold storage of -70 degrees Celsius and has a brief shelf life outside of the freezer:
- When thawed, the vials can be maintained within the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Once diluted, the vials are good for up to six hours.
- Once pulled from the vial, the vaccine is good for two hours.
As you can see, the timing of the vaccine clinics is critical, and Asante is committed to ensure no dose goes wasted.
To date, Asante has received two shipments of the vaccine. Each shipment allows us to vaccinate roughly 1,000 employees. It is not a matter of if the vaccine will be available to all 6,000-plus Asante employees, but when.
To ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, Asante’s vaccine prioritization team is balancing the risk levels for employees. Higher-risk employees are those involved with aerosol-generating procedures, who face continuous exposure or who work with certain patient populations. We recognize there is no perfect solution and all of us who work in health care face some level of risk. Please know the team is working quickly and as shipments of vaccine come in we are vaccinating as soon as possible.
Asante recently opened Tier Three and will begin the lower-risk Tier Four vaccinations as soon as we have vaccine supply. This will be within the next two to three weeks. The Oregon Health Authority and the CDC offer guidance on vaccine sequencing.
To prepare for your vaccination:
- Know your work schedule when you register. While it is recommended you have 24 to 28 hours off it is not required.
- The clinic takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes. Be prepared with a good book or your phone while you wait.
- Watch this video before you go. This is the fast pass into the vaccine and can cut your wait time down.
- During registration you will be asked a series of yes or no questions. If you answer yes to any of the questions, contact your personal health care provider before coming to the clinic.
Finally, some have asked what Asante is doing about community clinics with no hospital affiliation. We’re committed to supporting our community and we are awaiting guidance from the Oregon Health Authority on next steps to ensure that community health care workers have access to the vaccine.
About the vaccine
If you need answers for a personal work matter, please contact the author or department directly.