CEO Update | The science, safety and distribution of vaccines
Vaccines are the most important public health measure we have to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the video above, I am joined by clinical leaders who share information about vaccine science and our caregiver vaccination program in Ohio.
The vaccine distribution process will be complex. We will continue to provide transparent information throughout this effort.
Thank you for your perseverance.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President
For information about vaccines, visit the COVID-19 Toolkit.
H20 PACU at main campus will convert to non-COVID ICU – effective Dec. 15
In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have increased dramatically in the State of Ohio. Due to the increased acuity of both COVID and non-COVID Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, we have assessed locations across Northeast Ohio that could be converted to provide increased capacity to meet our community’s needs.
To ensure the safe provision of care for our patients, H20 PACU at main campus will convert to a non-COVID ICU unit effective Tuesday, Dec. 15, until further notice.
We recognize that the change of the H20 PACU to an ICU will impact patients and caregivers, and we will manage accordingly. We will ensure safe care for our patients on this unit through adequate ICU staffing and equipment support. There will be no surgical cancellations or postponements due to this conversion.
As of Monday, Dec. 14, there were 726 COVID-positive patients throughout our Ohio hospitals. We anticipate a continued increase in COVID and non-COVID patients needing ICU care and are proactively monitoring the ICU census.
Our leaders throughout the enterprise continue to monitor the pandemic. These changes do not apply to our Florida or regional hospitals. At this time, no other changes to our ICU approaches are planned. As the situation evolves, we will continue to assess our approach and provide updates.
Ohio update — COVID-19 vaccine is on its way
On Friday, Dec. 11, Pfizer received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its COVID-19 vaccine. In Ohio, Cleveland Clinic is expected to receive less than 1,000 doses the week of Dec. 14 and will begin distribution to caregivers in a phased approach.
Review vaccine information on the COVID-19 Toolkit to learn about the process to obtain the vaccine and read frequently asked questions.
The phased approach to the vaccine distribution follows guidelines determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
Vaccinations will begin at main campus on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
As we refine the complex vaccine distribution and receive more vaccine supply, we will open additional vaccine sites for caregivers.
The first group to receive the vaccine includes caregivers who take care of patients with COVID-19. Initially, this will be caregivers whose primary work assignment is in a COVID-19 ICU unit at the following locations:
- Fairview Hospital
- Hillcrest Hospital
- Main campus
- Marymount Hospital
Group one caregiver roles within the COVID-19 ICU units include:
- Advanced practice providers
- Clinical technicians
- Dialysis technicians
- Environmental Services
- Health unit coordinators
- Patient Transport
- Patient care nursing assistants
- Respiratory therapists
- Staff physicians and physicians in training
- Therapists (physical, occupational, speech and language)
Following vaccination of these caregivers, the next groups who have been identified to receive the COVID-19 vaccine include caregivers who work in other Northeast Ohio hospital COVID-19 ICUs, emergency departments, and COVID-19 units on regular nursing floors.
We have received confirmation that pending EUA approval of the Moderna vaccine, Cleveland Clinic will receive 8,200 doses of this vaccine for caregivers in the next few weeks. The Moderna vaccine is similar to the Pfizer vaccine in technology, efficacy and safety.
Vaccinations will expand to more caregivers and areas as the vaccine supply grows with additional shipments and FDA authorizations.
Eventually, every caregiver who wishes to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive the vaccine. This will be a personal choice and not mandatory.
Once eligible, caregivers will receive a message in MyChart to schedule their vaccine appointments. Set up a MyChart account if you don’t have one.
This is a complex vaccination program that could take several months to complete. Thank you in advance for your patience.
It’s important to continue practicing public health measures such as masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding gatherings even after individuals have been vaccinated. These safety measures, together with vaccinations, will help us control the COVID-19 pandemic.