VCU Medical Center receives shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, distribution begins Wednesday

Director of Pharmacy Services opens Pfizer COVID 19 Vaccine
Director of Pharmacy Services opens Pfizer COVID 19 Vaccine(VCU Medical Center)
Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 6:25 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As vaccinations begin across the Commonwealth, VCU Medical Center received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“We loaded about 4,000 vials in the ultra-cold freezer, and so we are ready to start vaccinations tomorrow,” explained Director of Pharmacy Services Rodney Stiltner.

The shipment contained close to 4,000 doses of the vaccine and it was packed in dry ice. Virginia Commonwealth University is one of 17 ultra-cold storage facilities identified by the Virginia Department of Health for the Pfizer vaccine.

Stiltner says a CDC observer conducted a quality control check of the vaccine.

“[The] pharmacy is preparing the doses tomorrow morning and we will have them ready by 11 o’clock to start the vaccination of employees - it is a really good test run for us,” he said.

The first vaccines will be distributed Wednesday beginning at noon. So far, more than 1,200 employees have signed up to receive it.

“We are just hoping people accept the vaccination to move into the next phase of ending this pandemic.,” said Stiltner. “I think this is really some bright light in moving forward.”

There will be several clinics this week and next to continue vaccine distribution at VCU Medical Center.

“Thursday and Friday we will have clinics from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.,” said Stiltner. “I think the vaccine is safe. I think it’s been proven to be very effective and we want to encourage all of our team members to get the vaccine. Also for the public when they get the opportunity, I think it will be time for them to roll their sleeves up and get the vaccine.”

Clinics are planned for next week from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Christmas Eve from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Stiltner says VCU Medical expects to receive an additional vaccine from Moderna in the coming week.

“I saw a news release today that the FDA should approve the Moderna vaccine, and that should be additional vaccine to get our health care workers who are high risk, and we can move to the other essential workers as well,” he said.

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