Utah Hospitals Prepare For Shipment Of Pfizer Vaccine

Dec 12, 2020, 5:45 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 11:16 pm
Pfizer says it's COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in kids 12 to 15. (Justin Tallis-Pool/Getty Ima...
Pfizer says it's COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in kids 12 to 15. (Justin Tallis-Pool/Getty Images)
(Justin Tallis-Pool/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer will begin arriving at Utah hospitals on Monday with a second shipment arriving on Tuesday, according to the Utah Department of Health. The first phase will go to healthcare workers, then high risk people, and eventually the general population.

The announcement was made after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine Friday night.

Soon, special freezers at Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health will be full of hope.

Health officials said the COVID-19 vaccine will be stored in those special freezers.

“It’s definitely very exciting,” said Dr. Kavish Choudhary, who oversees the the University of Utah Health’s pharmacy rollout plan for the vaccine.

Dr. Choudhary said the special freezers will keep the vaccine at -70 degrees Celsius, adding that the cold temperature is necessary.

“The vaccine itself is pretty unstable, meaning that if we were to take it out, it could potentially start thawing right away which will shorten its shelf life,” he said.

“It also requires special handling, which our pharmacists and nursing staff are all being trained to handle,” said Dr. Kristin Dascomb, medical director of Infection Prevention Employee Health for Intermountain Healthcare.

The Pfizer vaccine will first go to healthcare workers, especially those dealing directly with sick patients.

However, even that first phase of vaccinating medical workers will take some time to get done.

“For us at the University of Utah, to get our staff done, we’re looking into February,” said Dr. Choudhary. “And that’s even before we can get to our patients, so we’ve got a long haul.”

It’ll be a while after healthcare workers, high risk people, and Utah teachers receive the vaccine before the general population starts getting it.

“I would guess, with the CDC information, that optimistically maybe by this summer we’ll be in a place to vaccinate the mass population, but that’s still seven months away,” said Dr. Choudhary. “We have a solution, but that solution is going to take time to get implemented.”

That’s why medical workers said it’s still important to take all the precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, sanitizing, and staying home if you’re sick.

“The more and more we can prevent spread, the better all of these tools will help us,” said Dr. Tamara Sheffield with Intermountain Healthcare.

Even though healthcare workers will be able to get the vaccine first, medical providers are not making it mandatory for them to get it.

Workers can make their own decisions, and providers said their jobs will not be affected by their choice.

Getting the vaccine requires getting two shots of it, three weeks apart.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
7 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Utah Hospitals Prepare For Shipment Of Pfizer Vaccine