Chesterton Tribune



Franciscan Health now administering COVID vaccine

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Franciscan Health announced today that it has received initial supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and will begin the inoculation of frontline healthcare workers today.

The vaccinations are being administered at its Michigan City, Crown Point, and Hammond hospitals.

“This is a monumental moment for the healthcare industry,” said Dean Mazzoni, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City. “Protecting the people who have been on the frontlines is giving them one more tool to successfully wage this war with a renewed peace of mind that they are protected.”

Today’s vaccinations mark the first phase, Franciscan Health said, “which, following Indiana State Department of Health guidelines, will focus on frontline staff with frequent COVID or exposure of risk. Subsequent phases will include licensed healthcare workers who interact with patients, then all other healthcare workers.”

"Not only will the vaccine help clinical caregivers remain healthy and working in the short term, but we will also begin to significantly slow the transmission of COVID as we expand the vaccination effort to the community in the coming months,” said Erik Mikaitis, MD, vice-president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health Crown Point.

Those receiving the vaccine at all Indiana hospitals register and schedule their appointment using a link for eligible healthcare workers only. In addition to Franciscan employees, outside healthcare workers will also be able to schedule their vaccination at Franciscan Health sites. The vaccination location is determined both by home address and facility of employment.

The Pfizer vaccine requires a booster 21 days after the first inoculation. A link to schedule the second dose will be sent to those receiving the vaccine.

Even before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control gave their final approval of the vaccine, Franciscan Health was planning the set-up and location of its coronavirus vaccination clinics. “I’m thankful to be part of a wonderful team that came together to create a seamless process to provide this much-needed vaccine,” said Patrick Maloney, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Hammond, Munster, and Dyer. “We have a designated space for patients to be observed after receiving their shot, so people can be assured that their safety is our priority.”

“Other details included establishing stations for workers to confirm their registration upon arrival and coordinating with clinicians on how the vaccinations are to be administered,” Franciscan Health noted. “Pharmacy services, where the vaccine supplies will be stored in ultra-deep freezers, were called in to help coordinate efforts.”

“This vaccine is a welcome start to the definitive battle against this virus, and Franciscan Health will continue to lead the efforts to prevent infection as well as treat those who come down the symptoms of the infection,” said Daniel McCormick, MD, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Crown Point. “We have done this through tirelessly operating our healthcare system and quickly bringing into play innovative care ideas to help with the burden, such as remote patient monitoring and virtual rounding.”

With the vaccination process continuing well into 2021, McCormick emphasized that the community should continue their routine and urgent healthcare needs. “We are seeing increased numbers of patients who have chosen to delay care, and that is ill advised,” he said. “Our campuses are safe, and we maintain a high level of infection prevention vigilance throughout the facilities. We encourage you not to put off routine care. If a procedure can be delayed, we encourage you to work with your physician to determine what is best for you.”


Posted 12/18/2020




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