LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Five employees of Baptist Health Lexington received the initial dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Yuli Vallaran (intensivist), Linda Sherlock (housekeeper), Mark Spanier (Medical Doctor), Sharon Shireman (ED Patient Care Technician) and one other employee received the vaccination early on Monday afternoon.
The five employees received the first dose of the vaccine roughly five hours after the shipment arrived to the hospital's loading dock at 9 a.m.
“This is truly a historical day, a turning point in the pandemic,” said William G. Sisson, president of Baptist Health Lexington. “We know the vaccine is vitally important to getting back to normal, in our facilities as well as the communities.”
The development of the vaccine was amazing to Dr. Spanier, but he said he feels confident in its safety and effectiveness.
"I wouldn't be one of the first in line to get the vaccine if I felt that there was a big risk in taking the vaccine," Dr. Spanier said. "I think there's a much bigger risk in not getting the vaccine."
Baptist Health Lexington is one of 11 Kentucky hospitals chosen to distribute and administer the first shipments of the vaccine. The other ten hospitals are Lourde's Hospital (Paducah) Pikeville Medical Center, University of Kentucky Hospital, Baptist Health (Madisonville), Baptist Health (Louisville), St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Edgewood), Baptist Health (Corbin), Baptist Health (Lexington), Norton Hospital (Louisville), Medical Center (Bowling Green) and University of Louisville Hospital.
In total, Kentucky is expected to receive 38,025 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the first round of shipments from the federal government. These doses are all for the initial vaccine; booster shots will be delivered approximately three weeks later. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines require an initial dose and a booster dose.
The Moderna vaccine will have its hearing on Thursday. If emergency use authorization is granted, thousands of additional Moderna vaccine doses will be available, and assigned by the ACIP and CDC to be given to a certain classification of high-risk individuals.