Rural health care workers wait for COVID-19 vaccine
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are distributed to front-line health-care workers throughout the U.S.
For hospitals in rural areas, it could be days, even weeks before a vaccine arrives. This will leave doctors and nurses vulnerable to Coronavirus.
The vaccine is going to make a difference in our ability to proceed forward with this pandemic,” said Dr.Craig Moffett with Maben Medical Clinic and North Mississippi Medical Center-Europa.
Moffett and other health-care workers were the first in the area to get their shot.
“Moderna is the one that I received this morning. It’s being sent to smaller communities because it doesn’t have to be stored the same way. So, we’re doing hospital staff at the moment. Hopefully, we’ll be able to vaccinate more and more staff,” said Moffett.
Rural areas, Moffett says, are more susceptible to Coronavirus.
I.C.U beds and ventilators are not available for patients in critical care.
“Having a vaccine in these small communities means everything. I’m on staff at a small community hospital. We’ve had all our COVID-19 beds full within the past several weeks. Fortunately, some of the larger hospitals in Jackson and Tupelo will accept some of our sicker patients,” said Moffett.
With over 1,000 cases being reported in Mississippi each day, Moffett says keeping all staff healthy is vital.
” If one of our employees come down with COVID, it has a substantial impact. Just one nurse having COVID in our community makes a difference, and if we can accept a patient or not. If we can decrease community spread here locally, then we’ll be sending fewer patients to the larger hospitals so they can focus more on sicker patients,” said Moffett.
Maben Medical Clinic should receive vaccination dosages within the next couple of weeks.