UNC Lenoir Health Care administers first COVID-19 vaccine to employees

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The COVID-19 vaccine is at UNC Lenoir Health Care and employees are getting their doses.

It did not take long Thursday for hospital officials to open their shipment and give the first shots. Six frontline medical workers were in the first group of employees injected with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The group included physicians, a pharmacist and Kinston Mayor Don Hardy, who is also a hospital security guard.

They all come in contact with COVID patients every day. Hospital workers called this day monumental and historic.

The pharmacy operations manager said each vial of the vaccine has more doses than first thought. Each tiny bottle will give the opportunity to vaccinate more people in the long run.

UNC Lenoir Healthcare is not storing its vaccine in a special ultra-deep freeze. Workers are keeping the doses in what they call a shipper, using dry ice to maintain the negative 80 degrees Celsius to keep the vaccine viable.

The hospital is not expecting any of Moderna’s vaccines to arrive in the east next week. However, the people who got shots Thursday will receive a second Pfizer dose in 17 to 21 days.

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