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Pardee to get one of first shipments of Covid vaccine

Pardee Hospital is one of 11 sites in the state that will get one of the first shipments of 85,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses, Henderson County Emergency Services Director Jimmy Brissie told the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Monday night.

The news came as Brissie and Public Health Director Steve Smith updated commissioners on the coronavirus, the county's current case numbers, hospital capacity and testing numbers.

With an emergency use authorization for a Pfizer vaccine coming as early as this week, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is making plans for distribution of the first 85,000 doses statewide. Within 24 hours of FDA approval of the vaccine, the state will deliver a "big chunk" of the total available doses to CVS and Walgreens drug stores, which are partnering with the U.S. government to vaccinate nursing home residents.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots 20 or 21 days apart, Smith told commissioners. State health officials have identified priority recipients of the vaccine as health care workers, long-term care residents and employees, EMS personnel and front line helth care workers. After that would come law officers and people with high-risk conditions. The Pfizer vaccine is not yet approved for children under 18.

Pardee was chosen to receive one of the first shipments because it has the super-cold storage capacity needed to store the vaccine and for its geographic location, Brissie said.