Nashville hospitals ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 5:28 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 21:48:10-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville area hospitals are patiently waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Tama Van Decar, the TriStar Health Division Chief Medical Officer, said they are ready to administer Pfizer's vaccine as soon as it arrives. They believe it will be delivered on Thursday. "What’s exciting for us is we’ve been planning, and now that it’s at our doorstep I think everyone here has a sense of renewed energy, a renewed purpose, and a sense of honest excitement about what this could mean for us in healthcare," Van Decar said.

Dr. Tama Van Decar said the HCA Healthcare network has relied on their emergency operations center to help come up with a plan to administer the vaccines to local TriStar healthcare workers. It's the same center that's used during natural disasters.

The first in line will be the nurses and doctors who treat COVID-19 patients directly. “Those are the ones that have been on the ground day in day out. They haven’t had a break since March. They have been taking care of our high acuity, very sick Covid patients for eight months now," Van Decar said.

They have 200 medical volunteers who have signed up to administer the vaccine and help out with logistics.

Dr. Decar said when her time comes, she can't wait to get the shot. "I believe in this vaccine. I believe in this science behind this vaccine. I believe in the intricate process they went through to review it. The vaccine is safe. The vaccine is 95% efficacy, this is an incredible tribute to our science," Van Decar said.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses which healthcare workers will get 3 weeks later.

The Tennessee Department of Health received hundreds of doses of the vaccine on Monday as a backup in case any of the doses delivered to hospitals are damaged.