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Employees at USA Health have begun to receive the newly approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine just hours after shipments arrived in Mobile.

Published Dec 15th, 2020

Employees at USA Health have begun to receive the newly approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine just hours after shipments arrived in Mobile. Fifteen frontline healthcare workers from across USA Health began taking the first of two doses Tuesday as USA Health released a process for other employees to complete a survey and self-schedule appointments for vaccinations.

USA Health leadership emailed the following message to all employees Monday in anticipation of the vaccine’s arrival:

On Dec. 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. While there are many unknowns in the fight against this pandemic, we know that COVID-19 vaccination may help prevent you from getting sick from COVID-19. We know that COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help us build immunity in our communities, and we know that COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help us stop the pandemic (CDC, 2020).

We are excited that USA Health is scheduled to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Initially, there will be limited supply of the vaccine, and we will be following the Alabama Department of Public Health allocation plan in which healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home residents are prioritized in the distribution.

We highly encourage our employees to consider COVID-19 vaccination. Please read the Emergency Use Authorization Document, as well as the USA Health COVID-19 FAQ Document, as you consider if COVID-19 vaccination is right for you.

We will begin administering the vaccine at both hospitals, including a drive-through option at Children’s & Women’s Hospital, on Wednesday, Dec. 16. At this time, only USA Health employees, first responders and selected rural hospital employees will be eligible for vaccination from our initial allotment. These vaccinations will be by appointment only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until the stock has been utilized.

USA Health Employees (or their managers) will be able to self-schedule appointments. The first step is to complete the Employee Criteria survey. After you complete the survey, you will receive a link via email to sign up for a vaccination appointment.

**Please note when scheduling your appointment, you will need to input your name, address, date of birth, gender and preferred contact phone number (cell phone). In the “Insurance Field” please input USA and in the “Additional Notes Field” please input your department (example MICU).

For step-by-step sign-up instructions, please click here. If you have any difficulty scheduling an appointment or have any questions, you may email c19vaccine@health.southalabama.edu or call 1-855-USA-2VAX.

In Summary:

• COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments will be available on Wednesday, Dec. 16, until the stock has been utilized.

• Vaccination is by appointment only due to the vaccine cold chain and the data collection elements that are required to be sent to Alabama Department of Public Health. Please bring your Photo ID and cell phone to the appointment if possible.

• Common side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. These side effects should resolve in two to three days. As such, we are asking our employees to schedule their vaccine appointment at the end of their scheduled work obligation for the week (i.e., if you work Monday-Friday, please plan to take the vaccine on Friday or Saturday).

• Once you receive the first vaccination, you will need a booster shot in 21 days. The follow-up appointment will be made for you at the time of your first vaccination.

• Please refer to the Emergency Use Authorization and the USA Health COVID-19 FAQ Document as you consider if COVID-19 Vaccination is right for you. You may also visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website.

Important Links:

Emergency Use Authorization Document

USA Health COVID-19 FAQ Document

Step by Step Guide on How to Schedule Appointment

Map of Children’s & Women’s Drive-through Location

Map of University Hospital Vaccination Location

CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website

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