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Penn Highlands Vaccines

Penn Highlands DuBois kicked off their first round of Pfizer vaccinations on Friday morning.

Officials said they vaccinated 240 employees.

“Things went wonderfully well, we got people through appropriately and we didn’t have any problems folks were very happy to get vaccinated,” said Andrew Kurtz, Vaccine Lead & Director of Retail Pharmacy Services for Penn Highlands.

According to Andrew Kurtz, Penn Highlands has a very systematized process for transporting the vaccine.

“Our inpatient pharmacy was critical to getting the doses down to our vaccination area transport was easy we were able to get doses down with no issues,” he said.

He said employees were vaccinated in an area away from the public and patient care, that allowed for social distancing.

Before the vaccine was administered, it was stored in a freezer at minus 80 degrees Celsius.

“The doses do have to be thawed before prior to dilution and then the inpatient pharmacy is marking down the times that those doses are then ready to be injected to the patients,” said Kurtz.

The process of receiving the Pfizer vaccine was very similar to the flu shot, Kurtz said it took about 3-5 minutes per vaccination.

Penn Highlands will continue their first round of vaccinations on Monday and at this time Kurtz isn’t sure when the Phase 2 vaccinations will begin.

“The second round of vaccine is to be determined, we have looked at getting our employees that are further down the list in terms of the priority to receive the vaccine and as soon as we get confirmation of that shipping will get them into the process,” he said.

Penn Highlands Elk and Huntingdon will kick off their first round of vaccinations next week.

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