Lompoc Valley Medical Center on Thursday afternoon received its first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus disease caused by SARs-COV-2.
Employees were vaccinated based on risk-stratification published by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
LVMC is following all guidelines and recommendations of the U.S Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, California State and County Health Officers, and vaccine manufacturer guidelines with regard to the storage, handling, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccinations will occur for approximately five days, or until LVMC’s allocation is finished, said Chief Operations Officer Dr. Naishadh Buch, PharmD.
Among the staff receiving the vaccine on Thursday were physicians, nursing staff, and environmental services workers.
“People should absolutely take this vaccine,” said Dr. William Pierce, LVMC Chief of Medical Staff and general surgeon. “There will be side effects. The greater good is served if as many people as possible get this vaccine. I wanted to be right up there. It helps me feel very safe working in a hospital with COVID patients.”
Dr. Pierce said the shot was not painful. His vaccine was administered by Dr. Khawar Gul, cardiologist. Other nursing and medical staff helped administer the vaccines, which were managed and prepared by the LVMC Pharmacy department under the guidance of Director of Pharmacy Services Sarah Osellame.
“I hope people are encouraged to get the vaccine,” Dr. Pierce said.
LVMC is not currently offering vaccines to the general public. The vaccine is not mandatory for LVMC staff.