Spectrum Health starts vaccinating staff for COVID-19

Vaccine first 04. Marc McClelland, MD, receives SH first vaccination.JPG
Vaccine first 02.JPG
Posted at 3:53 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 23:16:47-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health received the first shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning, and administered it to several staff members in the afternoon.

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According to President & CEO Tina Freese Decker, the health system accepted 975 doses around 9 a.m. on Monday. She expects about 5,000 doses will be sent to Spectrum Health by the end of the week.

COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Spectrum Health

Video courtesy of Spectrum Health

Among the first people to get the vaccine was Dr. Marc McClelland, a Pulmonary Medicine Doctor, and Yvette Kamana, a Registered Nurse who works in the ICU.

“This day is tremendous. This is a very exciting day. I feel very grateful to have this opportunity. To me, this is a day of hope," said Dr. Marc McClelland who works in pulmonary medicine at Spectrum Health West Michigan.

Dr. McClelland says he felt confident in the science used to manufacture the vaccine.

“I have been saying all along that as soon as a vaccine becomes available, I would be happy to roll my sleeve up and receive one. So when I got the call, I honestly didn’t feel any hesitation," said Dr. McClelland.

Those who received the vaccine Monday will need a second injection in 21 days for the second injection, which provides full immunity. Pfizer reports it is 95% effective following the booster shot.

While the vaccine marks a new milestone in the fight against COVID-19, doctors are urging the public to continue taking preventive measures such as using marks, proper hand washing and social distancing.

"The vaccine clearly creates some light at the end of the tunnel, in the sense that we know now that we have an intervention that can now be implemented that’s going to end the pandemic. I think the potential irony here is that the vaccine is not going to have an immediate impact on the community spread of COVID," said Dr. Russell Lampen, Division Chief of Infectious Disease at Spectrum Health West Michigan.

Spectrum Health administers first COVID-19 vaccines

Video courtesy of Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health says it is recommending staff get the COVID-19 vaccine, but will not require it.

Once the vaccine clinics are fully operational, Spectrum Health will be able to vaccine up to 6,000 people per week.