Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Henry Ford Health System may receive promising COVID-19 vaccines as early as next month

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 2:55 PM

click to enlarge Henry Ford Health System. - JAMES R. MARTIN / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • James R. Martin /
  • Henry Ford Health System.

Two promising COVID-19 vaccines could arrive at the Henry Ford Health System as early as Dec. 12 as the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge in Michigan.

Five of the system’s hospitals in Michigan have been preparing for months to distribute the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which must be stored in specialized freezers at below-freezing temperatures to maintain their potencies.

Henry Ford has begun installing six freezers that can maintain temperatures as low as minus 85 degrees Celsius for the Pfizer vaccine, and six others that can maintain minus 25 Celsius for the Moderna vaccine.

Both vaccines are getting closer to approval.

“We have been investigating these specialized refrigeration units needed to store these vaccines and preparing our facilities and operations since early summer,” Ed Szandzik, vice president of pharmacy operations at Henry Ford Health System, said in a statement.

“Since we saw this potential need a few months back, we put in our order and made a concerted effort to be very proactive by securing these super freezers early on."

The freezers are being installed at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson.

Health officials are eager to begin the mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations as a record number of COVID-19 infections hit Michigan, with more than 7,000 daily cases reported over the past seven days. Daily coronavirus-related deaths are beginning to exceed 100 a day.

Henry Ford Health System said it will be “one of the few healthcare organizations in the country that will be ready the moment one or both of the vaccines is approved.”

Henry Ford Health System is the only Michigan hospital chosen as a Phase 3 site for the Moderna vaccine.

Michigan is expected to receive several thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses administered between three and four weeks apart. It’s not yet clear how many of those doses will be sent to Henry Ford Health System.

click to enlarge Specialized freezer to store Moderna vaccines at Henry Ford Health System. - HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Specialized freezer to store Moderna vaccines at Henry Ford Health System.

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