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CHI Health administering second doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 8:36 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - CHI Health has vaccinated nearly half of its total workforce, and soon they will be giving the second round of doses to their employees to complete the immunity process.

“It’s been really powerful,” said CHI Health CEO Dr Cliff Robertson. “The morale impact the vaccine has had for healthcare workers is palpable. You can hear it, see it and feel it in our teams because they think we see this as the beginning of seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”

CHI Health expects more shipments of the Phizer vaccine this week and next to begin giving booster shots to its staff. They also expect to receive more shipments of the Moderna vaccine, and will be giving first doses to remaining staff who have not yet been vaccinated within a week or two.

“The side effects have been pretty consistent anecdotally,” Robertson said. “We’re hearing, you know, sore arm, we’ve had some people report headaches or feeling kind of flu like for 24 hours. What’s interesting is almost everybody notes that the side effects seem to resolve very quickly.”

Ideally, the hospital would like all of their employees to be vaccinated at the same time, but overall they’re excited to be one step closer to returning to normal.

“I’m glad folks are getting their second shot - we’re getting closer to being able to, you know, get all of our workforce vaccinated and we can’t, you know, people aren’t protected, you don’t get that 95% efficacy or protection until you’ve had both doses,” Robertson said.

CHI Health feels pretty good about the overall acceptance of the vaccine among staff because according to a recent survey, 80% of them said they want the vaccine. They’ve had some people hold off on getting the vaccine until after Christmas in case of possible side effects, and they’ve also had people ask to wait for a few months after having recovered from COVID-19.

“We understand people, you know, all people have some level of hesitancy, that’s not unusual and probably not even uncalled for,” Robertson said. “What we’re trying to do though is make sure folks have the information presented to them in a way they can understand to make an informed choice about getting the vaccine.”

Overall CHI Health has received an overwhelming positive response from employees on the vaccine. They expect see a vast majority of their caregivers and support staff vaccinated and immune from the COVID-19 virus.

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