ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic is ready to begin vaccinating frontline workers after a trial run today. It comes as the health care system is expecting to receive its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday.
The plan is to then begin administering the vaccine come Monday morning but in preparation for next week the system performed a “dress rehearsal.”
Dr. Melanie Swift says it takes about an average of 4 minutes to get vaccinated and more than 400 health care workers can go through the process in a day.
Swift says during the trial workers essentially tried to “break the system” to ensure they can handle anything that might go wrong, such as an allergic reaction, even if it’s unlikely to happen.
She explained, “We expanded the recovery area so that people who have a history of anaphylactic reaction, which is the severe allergic reactions that happen when you have trouble breathing, that sort of thing, anyone with a history of that is actually observed for 30 minutes and that was actually a last minute change that came based on recommendations that we found out about over the weekend.”
Mayo Clinic is hoping to vaccinate 4,500 people next week and is using this experience to make to make sure things go smoothly.
“It's when you actually go through the motions is when you realize that, 'Oh, we need to keep these supplies closer or we need a runner who can do this or that." But, it also gives people that comfort and that confidence that they know exactly what to do and what their resources are and when the first patients come through they will not be floundering or worried,” she added.
Dr. Swift says the first wave of health care workers is already signing up to get vaccinated. She hopes having frontline staff vaccinated first will make the community feel more comfortable getting it themselves.
Mayo Clinic says its planning on administering all 975 vials of the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. The clinic will not be vaccinating on Christmas Day.