Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana administered its first round of vaccines for health care workers Tuesday morning. However, hospital officials warn the fight against COVID-19 is far from over.
Community Healthcare Systems emergency physician, Dr. Alan Kumar, said the hospital expects to receive 2,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the week. Like other hospitals who have received the vaccines, Kumar said Community will also serve as a location where health care workers from other counties can also be vaccinated.
He said Community has already started thinking of their approach to a larger-scale vaccination effort, when the vaccine is available to the public. He says that includes battling misinformation related to the vaccine.
“The first thing we want to do is educate our physicians, our nurses, our hospital so they can understand the value of this vaccine and they can help us spread the word,” Kumar said.
He said the vaccine’s arrival may bring hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, but says everyone needs to continue being careful. That means wearing masks, socially distancing and practicing good hygiene.
"There’s no guarantee that this vaccine is going to cause an improvement immediately," Kumar said. "In fact, it’s very unlikely, until you hit the term you’ve been hearing in the news multiple times, called herd immunity. And that likely won’t happen until the spring or summer."
Community Hospital was chosen to be one of the first hospitals in the state to distribute Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine because of their cold-storage unit.