Delaware healthcare workers continue to receive the coronavirus vaccine, days after the state accepted its first shipment of doses.
Roughly 750 Delaware healthcare workers had been vaccinated as of noon, Friday, according to the state.
ChristianaCare—Delaware’s largest health system—vaccinated its first workers Friday morning, and had vaccinated more than two hundred by 3 p.m.
Dr. Sudhakar Satti was among those. He does surgery for stroke patients at ChristianaCare’s Wilmington Hospital.
“I feel really good,” Satti said after getting vaccinated Friday. “I feel relieved, and I feel very optimistic.”
Satti wasn't hesitant to be among the first in Delaware to get the vaccine.
“I really believe in science, and I believe that that vaccine will have gone through the normal protocols,” Satti said. “I trust the people at the NIH and the FDA that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
ChristianaCare received about 3,400 doses of the vaccine in its first batch — and plans to administer all of those by Wednesday. They’re prioritizing employees involved in direct patient care and support staff that come into contact with contaminated materials.
“We’re trying to administer every last dose within the week so that we’ll get more next week and more the week after that,” said Dr. Marci Drees, chief infection prevention officer and hospital epidemiologist at ChristianaCare.
Drees says the health system will need tens of thousands of doses to give all of its caregivers both shots of the vaccine. ChristianaCare is not requiring employees to get the vaccine, but is encouraging it. Drees says many employees are willing.
“There are people that would have signed up a month ago had it been available, and there are people who are saying, I’m going to wait until next year,” she said. “But most people are in the middle, and they just want to know more.”
“Our slots are full for the coming week,” she added. “There was a lot of pent-up demand for vaccines. And I think as others see their colleagues and their friends getting vaccinated, I think a lot more will come along—just as they see it’s a safe, effective vaccine and it’s really what we need to do to get to the other side of the pandemic.”
This week the state received the 8,775 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine it pre-ordered.
Nemours duPont Hospital for Children vaccinated its first staff members Friday after receiving 750 doses for its first round.
Bayhealth was the first health system in Delaware to get the vaccine, and started vaccinating staff Tuesday.
Nursing home staff at facilities owned by Genesis HealthCare were vaccinated starting Thursday.
The state expects to receive 16,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine within days of its emergency use authorization approval. The state Division of Public Health says the Moderna vaccine will go to hospitals, EMS, Health Centers such as La Red Medical Center, Westside Family Health and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center and state clinics for staff vaccinations.
The state has created a call center for questions about the vaccine and plans to update the public with a vaccination count on its My Healthy Community website.
The Division of Public Health's Vaccine Call Center can be reached at 302-672-6150. People who are deaf and hard of hearing should call 2-1-1 or text their ZIP code to 898-211. Vaccine questions can also be submitted by email to Vaccine@Delaware.gov.