Optimism is high at Magnolia Regional Health Center (MRHC) this special Christmas week, as the health system received the highly anticipated vaccinations to begin administering the first of two doses to frontline staff members.

The shipment of vaccinations, produced by Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients arrived in Corinth in a quantity of 700 doses.

“It’s a monumental and pivotal moment in history for our nation and organization,” said Jim Hobson, chief executive officer at Magnolia Regional Health Center. “We are confident these doses of vaccines will be impactful in protecting our frontline staff members, allowing them to continue to battle the virus and provide outstanding care for the patients of our region.”

Hobson added, “Our staff continues to display incredible heroism and courage throughout the pandemic, and I believe the arrival of the vaccinations at our facility will help to continue to build the safest environment possible for our staff and patients.”

Moderna, Inc. was notified by the NIH-appointed Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, its vaccine candidate against COVID-19, the vaccination trial has met the statistical criteria pre-specified in the study protocol for efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5 percent.

Based on this safety and efficacy data, an application was submitted for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was approved to begin distributing and administering the newly-developed drug as of this week.

MRHC has developed the organizational vaccination administration plan in phases in accordance with the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines.

MRHC administration has sent communication to all staff members so that each employee’s interest in receiving the vaccination or not can be measured and noted. Since MRHC is receiving an initial quantity of 700 doses, the responses measuring the interest among staff are being used to determine appropriate next steps.

If MRHC receives over 700 “yes” replies, the pre-established administration plan will ensue, and the vaccinations will be allocated within the organization based on the potential of high risk exposure among staff. All employees working in these particular “high risk” areas will then be provided the vaccination first as they are available.

“I’m proud of the work done quickly and diligently by our staff to prepare for this moment,” said Hobson. “Our plan will commence immediately and will be given to staff members who desire to receive the vaccination.”

While strongly encouraged, MRHC team members are not required to take the vaccination.

At this time, the initial 700 doses are allocated for MRHC hospital staff use. Over the coming days and weeks, MRHC administration is confident more information regarding doses intended for community use will be released.

MRHC will continue to communicate relative information as it is available and provided by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Editor

A 1981 University of Tennessee - Martin graduate, Mark Boehler has over 40 years of journalism experience. His wife Dawn is the love of his life and they share five grown children and 10 grandchildren. His passion is his work - writing and photography.

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