Trinity Health employees are rolling up their sleeves at a brisk pace as part of an all-out effort to vaccinate healthcare workers against COVID-19.
As of today, just over 1,200 staff members, or about 40% of the workforce, have received an initial dose, according to Lori Lagge, Supervisor of Trinity’s Employee Health program. The total includes 50 employees from Trinity’s Williston campus and the rest from Minot. Some 40 doses of the vaccine will be administered to Trinity workers in Kenmare on January 8.
“It’s been a busy two weeks,” Lagge said. “For the most part employees are thankful that the vaccine is being offered to them. There is some apprehension with the unknown, but we have worked through those cases with a lot of reassurance.”
The health system began rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to priority frontline workers on December 18. Eligibility was opened to all staff based on a survey which asked workers whether they would like to be vaccinated and at what stage in the roll-out.
Lagge says about half of employees who have been vaccinated received the Pfizer product and the other half Moderna. Both vaccines require two doses to achieve maximum efficacy. The doses in the case of Pfizer must be administered three weeks apart. With Moderna, the separation is four weeks.
“So far, we’ve had reports of only moderate side effects – some muscle ache at the vaccination site, body aches, fever, and a few headaches – but nothing significant,” Lagge added.
While Trinity Health has encouraged eligible healthcare staff to accept the vaccine, it is voluntary on their part.
Residents and employees at Trinity Homes are scheduled to receive their first doses of vaccine in the next couple of weeks as part of the federal plan to offer vaccine to long term care residents and staff.