The first doses of the coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the Merrimack Valley and are being administered to frontline workers at Lawrence General Hospital.
Hospital spokesman Ben French said staff intercepted a delivery early last Tuesday morning of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be distributed to 975 workers who have direct patient contact. Vaccinations will take place Wednesday and Thursday, French said, with most of the vaccinations being done Thursday.
According to French, the first at the hospital to receive their shots are inpatient, emergency and procedural hospital campus staff and medical staff who have direct patient contact regardless of their roles.
Some non-clinical staff who work with patients will also receive the vaccine during the first phase of distribution, he said.
“Lawrence General Hospital has been preparing for safe and equitable vaccine distribution to frontline health care workers for several weeks and is fully prepared to safely conduct vaccinations,” he said in a statement. “Lawrence General Hospital will continue to support further vaccination efforts in accordance with state guidelines and as additional doses are made available.”
Partly manufactured in nearby Andover, the vaccine is administered in two doses given three weeks apart. A timeline was not available as to when the staff at Lawrence General Hospital would receive their second dose.
The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine Friday for all people 16 and older.
The vaccine is currently being distributed in phases nationwide, with hospital personnel among the first to receive it.