The DCH System in Tuscaloosa has received nearly 3,000 doses of the recently FDA-approved Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and will begin administering them to frontline healthcare workers and other first responders Thursday, a hospital spokesman announced Tuesday afternoon.
Andy North, the system's Vice President of Marketing and Communication, took to Facebook Tuesday to post one of his daily COVID-19 updates and said DCH will first prioritize its employees who have direct contact with sick patients or their fluids.
That will include nurses, physicians, laboratory techs, those who handle laundry and nutritional services employees, North said.
Access to the vaccine is expected to make its way to the rest of the population in the months to come, but North said DCH does "not yet have details or timing on when others in the community may be eligible to receive the vaccine but will share information as it becomes available."
He also said DCH is looking to hire individuals with a current Alabama RN, LPN or paramedic license to work as temporary vaccination providers.
Enter your number to get our free mobile app
North's Tuesday update included, as always, details on the patient population in DCH's hospitals. He said there are currently 153 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 and 29 of them are in the ICU. 14 require use of a BiPAP machine, and 11 more are on a ventilator.
In a grim milestone, 302 patients with COVID-19 have died at DCH, although North noted that means the individuals were confirmed to have the virus at the time of their deaths, and not necessarily that the virus caused their deaths.
For more information on the vaccine and its availability as it is released, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

Top Stories From the Tuscaloosa Thread (12/07-12/11)