Caregiver shares her sacrifice during pandemic

Caregiver shares her sacrifice during pandemic

Cleveland Clinic respiratory therapist Ada Cruz is making sacrifices to keep her daughter safe as she cares for patients with COVID-19.

Clarity on vaccine supply in Ohio for caregivers

Clarity on vaccine supply in Ohio for caregivers

We’ve received questions related to vaccine supply and distribution to our Ohio caregivers. To help clarify and provide additional details, below is background and information about vaccine allotment and vaccination distribution to our caregivers taking place in the coming weeks.

What it means to be a pre-positioned vaccine site

Cleveland Clinic worked hard to become a pre-positioned site for the COVID-19 vaccine and was selected as one of 10 vaccine sites in Ohio. The pre-positioned sites were chosen based on geographic location, nearness to population centers ability to rapidly administer the vaccine and provide ultra-cold storage. To facilitate this, we quickly ordered and received the necessary freezers to store the vaccines safely. Cleveland Clinic is able to quickly distribute any FDA-approved vaccine once received. In Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth Medical Center are the designated vaccine pre-positioned sites.

Vaccine distribution background

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provided guidance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC gave each state control over its vaccine allocation. Each state makes their own determination and can sub-prioritize the guidance they receive from ACIP and determines which groups should receive the vaccine and in what order. The state of Ohio’s allocation distribution can be viewed on the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website.

Given population demographics in each state, there are different vaccine distribution plans for quantity and allocation. Cleveland Clinic is following the guidance provided from CDC, ACIP and ODH for our vaccination distribution in Ohio and formed a multi-disciplinary Vaccine Steering Committee that is coordinating vaccine storage, logistics and scheduling for our caregivers.

Differences from our flu program

Cleveland Clinic does not have any control over the COVID-19 vaccine allocation from the state of Ohio or the ability to order specific quantities as we do for our influenza vaccines. The number of vaccines received and who receives them is determined at the federal and state levels.

Cleveland Clinic distribution

Our guiding principles are to distribute this vaccine safely, equitably and transparently, with an understanding that the greatest need is to maintain patient care during our current surge. These vaccines will be distributed in a fair and phased approach.

On Dec. 16, we began vaccinating caregivers in Ohio after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine following the Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. We received less than 1,000 doses, which is less than originally anticipated.

The state of Ohio and CDC designated two priority groups to receive the vaccine initially:

  1. Those living and working in extended or long term care facilities
  2. Frontline healthcare workers caring for COVID patients

Ohio is the 7th largest state by population but with an aging populace. The state has over 900 private long-term care facilities, and the state government operates many more, including housing for those with developmental disabilities. As part of the agreement, the state of Ohio made with the CDC, Ohio needed to vaccinate 50% of the workers and residents in long-term care facilities with the initial Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine supply. Walgreens and CVS are responsible for vaccinations in the long-term care facilities and received over 88,000 doses.  The ten pre-positioned hospitals in Ohio, regardless of size or number of employees, each received 975 doses or one box (sometimes referred to as a “pizza box”) of the vaccine.

Hospitals in states with younger populations, such as California, Texas and Georgia, received more of the vaccine initially because as a percentage of the population they have fewer people living in extended care facilities. In Ohio hospitals that are smaller and have less employees, will be able to extend the vaccine to a wider array of employees than we are given the number of caregivers we have in Ohio.

What’s next with vaccine scheduling?

Moderna, the second vaccine to receive Emergency Use Approval, was received on Dec. 23, and we have begun scheduling caregivers to receive the first dose today, Dec. 24. The next group of eligible caregivers to receive the vaccine in Ohio includes those whose primary work assignment is in a COVID intensive care unit (ICU), emergency department, or inpatient COVID unit.

In addition, we have expanded the locations for vaccination beyond main campus to include:

  • Akron General Hospital
  • Fairview Hospital (for Fairview Hospital caregivers only due to parking constraints)
  • Hillcrest Hospital
  • Westlake Medical Campus

We anticipate additional shipments of the vaccines and will expand vaccinations to more caregivers and areas as the supply grows. 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.

We ask for your patience as this is complex vaccination program dependent on the supply received.

Reminders

Ohio Update — Next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Ohio Update — Next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

On Dec. 18, 2020, Moderna received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its COVID-19 vaccine. In Ohio, Cleveland Clinic received Moderna doses this week and will continue with our phased approach for vaccine distribution with both the Moderna and Pfizer products. Review vaccine information on the COVID-19 Toolkit to learn about the process to obtain the vaccine and read frequently asked questions.

Ohio distribution

In addition to main campus, vaccinations will also be given at the following regional locations:

  • Akron General Hospital
  • Fairview Hospital (for Fairview Hospital caregivers only due to limited parking)
  • Hillcrest Hospital
  • Westlake Medical Campus

More caregivers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio

The next group of caregivers who are eligible to receive the vaccine in Ohio includes those whose primary work assignment is in a COVID intensive care units (ICU), emergency department, or inpatient COVID unit and who have the following roles:

  • Advanced Practice Providers
  • Case managers
  • Chaplains
  • Clinical technicians
  • Critical Care Transporters
  • Dialysis technicians
  • Environmental Services
  • Health unit coordinators
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Patient Transport
  • Patient care nursing assistants
  • Pharmacists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Social workers
  • Staff physicians and physicians in training
  • Therapists (physical, occupational, speech and language)
     

As Cleveland Clinic continues to receive additional shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, vaccinations will expand to more caregivers. 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.

How to schedule

Once eligible, caregivers will receive a message in MyChart to schedule their vaccine appointments. Here’s how to set up a MyChart account if you don’t have one.

If you are eligible but unable to schedule a vaccine at a convenient time and location, your MyChart scheduling ticket remains open for your use until you are able to schedule. Keep checking your MyChart account as more sites open for scheduling.

This is a complex vaccination program that could take time to complete and is dependent on vaccine supply. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Continue practicing public health measures such as masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing and avoiding gatherings even after being vaccinated. These safety measures, together with vaccinations, will help us control the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a reminder, these are the COVID-19 symptoms. If you experience any of these, do not report to work and contact the COVID-19 hotline at 216.445.8246.