The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 1:00 am

Parkview verified as vaccine site

1 of 5 in state with refrigeration to store Pfizer doses


Parkview Health will be among the first five hospitals in Indiana to receive and store doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

“We're still in the planning process,” Tami Brigle said. “That's an active thing that people are working on right now.”

On Wednesday during Gov.  Eric Holcomb's weekly COVID-19 news conference, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana's chief medical officer, said the state could receive the first doses of the vaccine by the end of November.

Pfizer could submit for emergency use authorization by this week, Weaver said Wednesday. She added the state was asked to identify five pilot sites that could store doses at super-cold temperatures between negative-60 and negative-80 degrees Celsius, and Parkview was among them.

“I'm told we do have the refrigeration necessary,” Brigle said.

Other institutions cited as getting vaccines were identified as Indiana University Health's Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Community Hospital in Munster, Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville and Deaconess Hospital in Evansville.

State health officials have told Lutheran Hospital it “is on a list of 41 sites in Phase 1-A to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” a spokeswoman said Monday. 

Phase 1-A will involve hospitals prepared to administer vaccines to all health care personnel, including those not associated with their facility.

“We remain in close contact with the state and are awaiting their direction,” Lutheran spokeswoman Joy Lohse said.

Indiana will not vaccinate anyone until there is an emergency-use authorization and the vaccine is reviewed for safety and effectiveness by two advisory committee, health officials said.

Pfizer has early results showing greater than 90% effectiveness, considered “extremely encouraging,” Weaver said.

Weaver said vaccination will be offered first to health care workers and high-risk populations. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses spaced three weeks apart.

A second vaccine has been developed by Moderna and is awaiting approvals. It requires slightly less frigid temperatures for storage.

Wide availability of coronavirus vaccines remains at least several months away, state health officials said.

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