BILLINGS -- Now that the Pfizer vaccine has passed a critical milestone with a formal FDA approval, Montana hospitals can put their plans to administer the vaccine in motion.
And those with Billings Clinic believe the arrival of the vaccine will give healthcare workers hope.
“So, with the vaccine on the horizon, there's definitely a sense of anticipation,” said Billings Clinic Chief Medical Officer Toni Green-Cheatwood.
Billings Clinic is set to receive its first doses as early as Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“We anticipate starting at the end of the week to do vaccinations with some of our first line,” she said.
Green-Cheatwood wants to reassure people that the vaccine is effective. The Pfizer vaccine, the first to come out, has been through a rigorous path to approval.
“With the FDA to prove that it's safe and efficacious for patients, it has been very very rigorous making sure we have all the instructions,” Green-Cheatwood said.
While some at Billings Clinic are still unsure if they’ll take the vaccine because it’s not a requirement, Green-Cheatwood said after a recent survey, about 75 percent of employees said they’d take it.
“Then the next question to that is, when is my family going to be eligible?” she said. “And so it's this whole big question of how does this roll out statewide.”
And after this initial rollout, where Green-Cheatwood said all initial doses will stay in Billings, the hospital then gets estimates on a weekly basis for addition doses.
“I think the hard thing to remember is that it's a limited resource to start with. But being patient over the next couple of months that we will get there,” she said.
Billings Clinic has also been asked to help first responders in the community get the vaccine as well.