MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Baptist Health confirms nearly 4,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Baptist South Medical Center in Montgomery Tuesday morning.
Baptist is one of 15 hospitals selected to receive the initial shipment in Alabama.
It will be responsible for vaccinating health care workers across the area, which is expected to begin by the end of the week.
Baptist hospital providers will receive 50% of the total allocation. This covers any staff member who is essential to the care of COVID-19 patients and physicians who are not employed by Baptist but have hospital privileges. It also includes the Montgomery Cancer Center, Montgomery Surgical Center and Baptist clinics.
Twenty percent, or around 780 doses, is set aside for essential staff members at other hospitals in the area, outside the Baptist organization.
Fifteen percent, or nearly 600 doses, is reserved for clinical providers in the area who treat COVID patients outside the hospital. The final 15 percent is reserved for EMS workers.
A phone number will be provided soon for those who qualify to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Baptist expects to announce those plans in the immediate future.
Plans will be heavily influenced by the vaccine’s cold chain requirements. It must be held in a subzero freezer and must be used within a specific time frame. Baptist’s subzero freezer is nearly 30 cubic feet and will be able to hold tens of thousands of doses.
The vaccine will arrive in powder form, which must be mixed with a diluting agent to create a liquid suspension for the injections. Due to the number of steps this requires, it will also influence how hospitals schedule vaccinations. That key diluting agent along with other necessary materials to administer the vaccines is already on hand in Montgomery.